Hacker Barnaby Jack dies just before Black Hat presentation on lethal pacemaker hacks

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  1. RJMeelar

    You know BBG has had a lot of stories lately that point to big brother and loads of somewhat creepy things that lead me to believe that the world is largely out to get us....

    Could we get some posts about people working together in peace and harmony as a bit of a unicorn chaser.

  2. SedanChair

    BRB, I'm set to construct a tinfoil hat to dwarf those monoliths of Giza

  3. PhasmaFelis

    Do we have any actual reason to suspect that this guy was murdered by, I dunno, anyone? Skepticism doesn't even require faith in the government, just common sense: there's no reason why a sinister cabal capable of ordering untraceable assassinations should give two shits about your Grandma's pacemaker, and anyone who did care to gather enough info on this guy to kill him would have realized in the process that he's actually trying to improve pacemaker security, fearmongering news reports notwithstanding.

  4. ronamo

    It's not just the pacemakers that are at risk. An extremely high percentage of computer systems used in US hospitals and medical offices run out of date OS software, do not have up-to-date virus definitions for their AV software, and do not have updated medical software, and it's the government's fault.

    Under the current wording of laws (as of last November, when I researched Jack and the pacemaker hacks for an ethical position paper), any software updates to such systems technically count as a modification that would require recertification of the equipment by the FDA or other bodies involved in such certifications. As a result, hospital administrators and IT teams are choosing to turn off automatic updates and keep going with what they have, rather than risk invalidating their equipment. It's a flawed set of rules that needs to be rewritten, especially considering that some institutions in the studies demonstrated malware infections rates as high as 90% of all computers in some hospitals being affected.

  5. chipandre

    If all you're looking for is motive, then I will point out that the majority of the US government is composed of old men. They're also primarily wealthy, and have probably the best health plan in the country. I have no idea how many congresscritters or other high ranking washington types have pacemakers, but I'm sure it's more than a few. And with their resources, I'm sure they all have the best and newest. In other words, if you had to pick a group of people most at risk for an attack of this kind, it just happens to be the same group that has the ability to pull off a "died under mysterious circumstances" to prevent it.

    That's still not proof by any means, but as a conspiracy theory, it is definitely plausible.

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