Conspiracy theorists, gather ‘round. Renowned hacker Barnaby Jack has died at the age of 35 just days before he was scheduled to host a highly anticipated talk at this year’s Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas. A report from the local medical examiner’s office confirmed the death took place in San Francisco but didn’t provide any further details.
Jack was expected to host a discussion on hacking implanted heart defibrillators and detail ways to improve their security. Last year, he successfully demonstrated it was possible to infiltrate the software used in a Medtronic insulin pump and dispense a fatal insulin dose from up to 300 feet away.
In a statement on the matter, Black Hat expressed their deepest sympathies to Jack’s family and loved ones. As for the conference, they will not be replacing Jack’s time slot as no one could replace him, nor would they want them to. Instead, the room that Jack’s discussion was to take place in will be left vacant for others in the community to commemorate his life and work.
Jack most recently served as the director of embedded security research at IOActive but was perhaps most known for his impressive hacking demonstrations. Back in 2010, Jack demonstrated how to break into an ATM machine and make it spit out cash in a hack referred to as “jackpotting.” As you can imagine, the hack gained the attention of those in the ATM industry as many issued updates to their machines soon after.
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