Barnaby Jack, Prominent White Hat Hacker, Found Dead in Apartment at Age 35

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News Posted: Sat, Jul 27 2013 10:08 AM
We've all fantasized at one point or another of standing in front of an ATM as it mistakenly shoots out cash, showering us in money. Famed computer hacker Barnaby Jack actually made it happen in 2010 during a demonstration at the Black Hat conference. Called "jackpotting," he demonstrated the vulnerability on two separate ATMs on stage, both spewing out cash at a rapid clip.

It's what he'll perhaps be best remembered for, though Jack's contributions went beyond helping ATM makers secure their money dispensing boxes. More recently, he discovered vulnerabilities in medical devices, such as pacemakers and insulin pumps, and was scheduled to give a presentation at Black Hat next week on how it's possible to deliver a lethal shock from 50 feet away from a hacked pacemaker.

Unfortunately, Jack won't attending Black Hat anymore. The white-hat hacker was found dead in his apartment in San Francisco by a "loved one," Reuters reports. He was only 35 years old, the cause of his death unknown at this time, though police have ruled out foul play. There will be an autopsy, though it could be several weeks before the cause of his death is determined.

Prior to his death, Jack was the director of embedded device security at IOActive, a cybersecurity consulting firm.

"Lost but never forgotten our beloved pirate, Barnaby Jack has passed. He was a master hacker and a dear friend. Here's to you Barnes!," IOActive said in a statement.
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Having access to the hardware seems to be the key, here. Why not lock those in a safe as will like the money? For ease of access for the security updates? It is sad when a white hat hacker passes, need more of them.

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Clixxer replied on Sat, Jul 27 2013 2:39 PM

That is just one way to hack into the ATM, he said he was able to do it remotely for the second way. Condolences to his family. I remember seeing this video a couple years ago and buddy of mine were both trying to figure out the best way to do this. 

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This is too sad. He was obviously smart, but he had a sound moral code and that made him magnificent. We need more like him, people that actively work to make our digital life more secure.

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jayqwe replied on Sat, Jul 27 2013 4:38 PM

I like how he used his ability to hack in a good way unlike the many other people who use it to their personal benefit.

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digitaldd replied on Mon, Jul 29 2013 11:00 AM

RIP, About a year ago he got me interested in how the RFID security on my insulin pump worked. 

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