July 27, 2013
Barnaby Jack, a prolific hacker hailing from New Zealand, has unfortunately passed away in an apartment in San Francisco at the age of 35. The cause of death has not been revealed, but a spokesperson for the local police did say that foul play was not a factor. Jack was scheduled to attend the Black Hat conference next week, an hour of which will now be dedicated to his memory instead.
During the event next week, Jack was supposed to demonstrate how one can hack into implanted defibrillators and pacemakers, exposing vulnerabilities in the technology. According to Reuters, which interviewed the hacker earlier this month, he’d stated his method could “kill a man” with the implanted technology up to 30 feet away.
Although he had dabbled in many categories, Jack is perhaps best known for a hack called Jackpotting, which involves a demonstration of the hacker causing ATMs to dispense bills. He had also worked at identifying vulnerabilities in medical devices that could prove dangerous, and has received praise from individuals, companies, and even government agencies for his efforts.