Barnaby Jack has died, one week before his Hacking Humans presentation. Jack was set to speak at the Black Hat hacking convention, in Las Vegas. The circumstances of his death are unknown.
As Director of Embedded Device Security for IOActive, Jack was set to expose the lack of security in medical implants.
Essentially, Jack claimed that implanted devices, such as pacemakers, can be detected and detonated, from up to 30 feet away. The techniques, which he planned to demonstrate, would cause immediate death.
As reported by Reuters, Barnaby Jack was considered a hacking genius. He specialized in small devices, which are found in medical devices and ATM machines. By hacking and exposing security flaws, he was able to suggest better security protocols.
One of Jack’s most famous demonstrations was during the 2010 Black Hat convention. Jack exposed numerous security flaws within common ATM machines.
Jack demonstrated that an ATM machine could be contacted remotely, through a dial-up connection. Using open-source software, hackers could easily contact thousands of machines, seeking those with security flaws.
Card and PIN number data from flawed ATM machines could be automatically recorded for later use.
As reported by CRN, Jack was well-known for wooing audiences at various hacking conventions. He has done work for McAfee, Juniper Networks, eEye digital Security, and FoundStone.
His most current employer, IOActive, has not spoken about his death. However, they mentioned his passing via Twitter:
“Lost but never forgotten our beloved pirate, Barnaby Jack has passed. He was a master hacker and dear friend. Here’s to you Barnes!”
Barnaby Jack’s death comes as a shock to his family, friends, and fans. He will be remembered as a genius and a legend for his work.
[Image via Flickr]