R.I.P. Barnaby Jack: Famed Hacker Dies Days Before Black Hat Conference

Friday, July 26, 2013

Mike Lennon

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(SecurityWeek) - Well known hacker Barnaby Jack has passed away, sending a shock through the security community with the biggest hacker-focused security conference of the year just days away.

Jack, a famed white hat hacker, was scheduled to present at the Black Hat security conference on Tuesday, and present research on vulnerabilities in implantable medical devices. 

"I just wake up and heard this, really sad, I can't believe this, no words," Cesar Cerrudo, CTO, IOActive Labs, said in an email to SecurityWeek.

The cause of Jack's death is unknown.

The San Francisco Medical Examiner's office confirmed to Reuters that Jack had died in San Francisco on Thursday, but did not provide additional details.

Barnaby Jack is probably best known for his ATM hacking demonstrations, which he liked to refer as “Jackpotting”, and has performed at a few conferences, including a demonstration at Black Hat 2010 that got media attention around the world.

Shocked reactions hit the Twittersphere on Friday, as many in the industry conveyed their condolences, shock, and even disbelief, hoping new of the death was some sort of hoax.

“My fondest memories of barnaby jack were all of them. he lived life the way it should be lived,” Tweeted Ryan Naraine. 

“Barns was simultaneously one of the kindest, smartest, most geniune, and most fun people I've ever met, anywhere. I can't believe this,” Veracode’s Chris Eng Tweeted

Jack has served as Director of Embedded Device Security at IOActive since October 2012, after a 10-month stint at McAfee, returning to IOActive where he previously held various roles. Jack also did stints also at eEye Digital Security and Juniper Networks.

"Lost but never forgotten our beloved pirate, Barnaby Jack has passed. He was a master hacker and dear friend. Here's to you Barnes!" IOActive Tweeted

Related Video: Barnaby Jack Demonstrates ATM Hacking at Black Hat

Related Reading: Barnaby Jack Leaves McAfee to Return To IOActive

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