Saturday, July 27, 2013

(28-07-2013) Barnaby Jack - professional hacker - dies - San Francisco Chronicle - W4llppr

Barnaby Jack - professional hacker - dies - San Francisco Chronicle Jul 28th 2013, 04:54

Barnaby Jack, a San Francisco computer-security professional with a showman's flair for demonstrating technical weaknesses in ATMs and medical devices, has died. He was 36.

A prominent professional hacker who discovered a way to have ATMs spit out cash, Mr. Jack died Thursday, authorities and his employer said. The cause of death is under investigation, San Francisco Deputy Coroner Kris Barbrich said.

Craig Brophy, a spokesman for computer security firm IOActive, where Mr. Jack was director of embedded device security, confirmed his death and said the company would be issuing a statement.

Mr. Jack was scheduled to speak Thursday at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas. The title of his talk was "Implantable Medical Devices: Hacking Humans," according to the Black Hat conference website.

Mr. Jack planned to reveal software that uses a common transmitter to scan for and "interrogate" individual medical implants, the website said.

"We certainly don't want people to lose faith in these devices," Mr. Jack said July 18 in an interview with Bloomberg News. "But certainly any threats, no matter how minor, need to be eliminated."

Mr. Jack, who previously worked at computer security firm McAfee, made headlines at the conference in 2010 when he demonstrated his ability to hack stand-alone ATMs. He was able to hack them in two ways - remotely and using physical keys that come with the machines.

"Barnaby had the ability to take complex technology and intricate research and make it tangible and accessible for everyone to learn and grow from," said Trey Ford, general manager of Black Hat.

The conference said it will not replace Mr. Jack's talk, but instead leave the slot open so people can commemorate his life and work.

"Beyond his work in our industry, Barnaby was an incredibly warm-hearted and welcoming individual with a passion for celebrating life," said Ford. "We all have a hilarious and upbeat story about Barnaby. He is truly a shining example of what we love about this community."