Hacker Jack died from accidental overdose: coroner

Jan 04, 2014

The sudden death of prominent hacker Barnaby Jack was due to an accidental overdose of heroin, cocaine and other drugs, a coroner's report said Friday.

The New Zealand-born Jack, 36, a software wizard famous for remotely hacking ATMs and medical devices, was found dead in his bed by his girlfriend in July.

An autopsy found "no visible or palpable evidence of trauma" on the body. There was "blood inside the nostrils" and "sparse white foam inside the mouth," the report from the San Francisco Medical Examiner's office said.

A toxicology screen found evidence of "acute mixed drug ... intoxication" from heroin, cocaine, the antihistamine diphenhydramine and Xanax, which combined to cause Jack's , the medical examiner said.

The New Zealand native and San Francisco resident worked as a software security researcher at IOActive Labs.

An admired member of the community, Jack said in an IOActive blog post months before his death he had been spending the majority of his time researching vulnerabilities in new model wireless pacemakers and Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs).

Three years earlier, Jack demonstrated his "ATM jackpotting" discovery for an overflow crowd of hackers during a presentation at the infamous DefCon hacker gathering held on the heels of Black Hat annually in Las Vegas.

Jack found a way to access ATMs remotely using the Internet. Once in the machines, he could command them to spit out cash or transfer funds.

He didn't reveal specifics of the attack to hackers even though the ATM makers were told of the flaw and have bolstered machine defenses.

He was admired by his fellow hackers, who took to Twitter last year after his sudden death to pay tribute.

"Lost but never forgotten our beloved pirate, Barnaby Jack has passed," IOActive said in a message at the company's Twitter account.

"He was a master hacker and dear friend. Here's to you Barnes!"

Explore further: Britain's UKIP issues online rules after gaffes

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hacker breaks into ATMs for good, not evil

Sep 16, 2010

I'd just bought Barnaby Jack a pint of Harp when it hit me: Shouldn't he be buying my beer? Jack, as you might know, is the good-guy hacker who figured out a way to digitally hijack ATMs and command them to spit out $20 bills. ...

Security experts sound medical device malware alarm

Oct 19, 2012

(Phys.org)—Speakers at a government gathering revealed more reasons for nervous patients to get out their worry beads over future hospital stays. Besides staph infections, wrong-side surgeries and inaccurate ...

Recommended for you

Britain's UKIP issues online rules after gaffes

21 hours ago

UK Independence Party (UKIP), the British anti-European Union party, has ordered a crackdown on the use of social media by supporters and members following a series of controversies.

Sony saga blends foreign intrigue, star wattage

21 hours ago

The hackers who hit Sony Pictures Entertainment days before Thanksgiving crippled the network, stole gigabytes of data and spilled into public view unreleased films and reams of private and sometimes embarrassing ...

Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

Dec 18, 2014

The detective work blaming North Korea for the Sony hacker break-in appears so far to be largely circumstantial, The Associated Press has learned. The dramatic conclusion of a Korean role is based on subtle ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

davidivad
not rated yet Jan 04, 2014
may he rest in peace.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.