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Barnaby Jack hacks diabetes insulin pump live at Hacker Halted

25 October 2011

At the Hacker Halted conference in Miami, Florida, McAfee research architect, Barnaby Jack, demonstrated how to hack into an insulin pump live in his presentation titled ‘Life threatening vulnerabilities’.

Perhaps most famous for his live hack of an ATM machine at Black Hat Las Vegas in 2010, Jack captivated the Hacker Halted audience by proving the insecurity of a particular (unspecified) brand of insulin pump.

Jack began the presentation by assuring the audience that his motives are honourable and stating the importance of “getting it out in the open”.

At Black Hat this summer, a diabetes sufferer demonstrated that he could hack and shut down his own pump – but only his own. The display resulted in a lot of press coverage and the manufacturer in question released the following statement:

“The chance of an attack is very unlikely and almost impossible. It would be extremely difficult for a third-party to tamper remotely with a pump”.

Jack proved this statement incorrect by scanning radio frequency and accessing implanted insulin pumps within a 300 meters range.

Jack used his friend, a diabetes sufferer, in the audience to demonstrate how he could then control the insulin dispersed remotely, or shut it down.

Jack received the biggest applause of the day from Hacker Halted delegates.

This article is featured in:
Application Security  •  Encryption  •  Malware and Hardware Security  •  Wireless and Mobile Security


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