• • • • • • When the acclaimed television drama series Homeland climaxed with a devious plot by terrorists to kill America’s vice-president by hacking into his electronic pacemaker, critics scoffed at the ludicrousness of the idea. But the outrageous storyline was thought credible by many in the world of computer security. Among those was the New Zealand-born computer hacker Barnaby Jack. The 35-year-old — who, unlike many in the business, used his skills ‘ethically’ — had spent his career demonstrating the dangers posed by unscrupulous hackers combined with computer manufacturers’ failure to install proper safety devices on equipment.
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Scroll down for video. Watch full SecurityWeek video Another stunt was to reveal how a diabetic’s insulin pump — which is designed to deliver insulin to the body day and night — could be hacked from 300ft away, so it could dispense a fatal dose. Jack, who had been obsessed with computers since childhood, emigrated to the U.S.
At the age of 21 and joined a firm specialising in computer security issues. In recent years, he had developed a specific interest in what is known as ‘embedded’ technology, the hardware and software built into everyday objects such as cars, banking systems, home appliances and medical devices. Jack thought it plausible that someone could hack into a pacemaker and speed up their heartbeat until it killed them He was preparing to demonstrate his work two days ago at a major computer-hacking convention in Las Vegas. In an address to the Black Hat convention titled ‘Implantable medical devices: hacking humans’, Jack was due to show an audience of hackers and cyber security experts at Caesar’s Palace how he could hack into devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators. He planned to show how, using a wireless transmitter, he could trigger a deadly power surge and kill someone from up to 50ft away. A pacemaker is a small battery-powered device implanted in the chest, which regulates the beating of the heart by sending regular electrical pulses to the heart muscles. Cara Mencari Background Pada Folder Windows 7 Tanpa Software Engineer. Modern versions are controlled from small external computers.
Famous pacemaker wearers include Sir Elton John, Sir David Attenborough, former U.S. Vice-president Dick Cheney and former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt. More than 500,000 have been fitted to patients in Britain, but it was in the U.S.
— where nearly five million people use pacemakers and defibrillators — that Jack’s stunt was regarded as a potentially seismic revelation. However, he was never to give the demonstration. A week beforehand, Jack was found dead in his flat in the San Francisco neighbourhood of Nob Hill. His body was believed to have been found by his girlfriend, Layne Cross, a 31-year-old model. According to friends, he was found dead in bed. To say his sudden death remains shrouded in mystery is putting it mildly. Predictably, for someone who worked in such a shadowy world, there have been countless theories about how he was killed.
Hackers are a suspicious bunch who have become even more paranoid since the U.S government’s efforts to silence whistleblowers such as ex-soldier Bradley Manning (who faces jail for leaking secret government cables to WikiLeaks). The absence of even the most basic details about Barnaby Jack’s untimely death has ignited a firestorm of speculation that foul play could be involved.
The death has been linked to that of Michael Hastings, a young American journalist who died in a car crash Hastings complained about the U.S. Being a ‘surveillance state’ and his death in a car crash in Los Angeles in June was widely reported as suspicious. Then there is yet another theory about Jack’s death.
Could the multi-million-dollar healthcare industry have silenced him? After all, he was about to expose a huge flaw in one of its most lucrative devices that could cost it untold millions, and cause a major public embarrassment.
It’s certainly true industries have not always appreciated hackers such as Jack publicly exposing their security weaknesses. Dan Kaminsky, a security researcher and close friend, says Jack had recently had ‘uncomfortable meetings’ with cash machine manufacturers and makers of electronic medical devices. ‘I’m sure he made enemies,’ he adds. Dan Kaminsky, a security researcher and close friend, says Jack had recently had 'uncomfortable meetings' and was sure he had enemies But he explained that while Jack was a ‘pain in the butt’ for the companies whose products he hacked, he at least tried to keep them informed of what he was doing.