Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
News

Hacker Barnaby Jack Died of Drug Overdose 195

Posted by Soulskill
from the rest-in-peace dept.
DrDevil writes "Barnaby Jack, the computer security expert who died mysteriously a few days before he was due to give a presentation on hacking pacemakers at last year's Black Hat, died of a drug overdose. The coroner initially withheld the report, which led to much speculation given the timing of his death. Mr. Jack appears to have taken a cocktail of drugs (PDF) and was found dead by his girlfriend. His girlfriend stated that he had used drugs regularly."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Hacker Barnaby Jack Died of Drug Overdose

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 04, 2014 @10:34AM (#45864903)

    and this just proves it.

    • Except Rock Stars have significant portions of the mainstream public admiring them before they O.D.

    • by Pharmboy (216950) on Saturday January 04, 2014 @10:42AM (#45864943) Journal

      No, hackers are just like anyone else and this proves it. People overdose all the time, they just don't make the front page of Slashdot.

    • by flyneye (84093)

      Always know your dose.
      No one is going to keep track of it for you.
      If you want to live to be a ripe old junkie like Wm. Burroughs, you learn to keep care of yourself.

      • by Mr.CRC (2330444) on Saturday January 04, 2014 @11:48AM (#45865259)
        If this was an OD due to illegal drugs, then it's likely that it wouldn't have occurred if the drugs were simply legal. You cannot "know your dose" with illegal drugs because you: 1. don't know what drug it really is at all; 2. don't know the concentration or purity. The best way to reduce ODs would be to legalize everything, then all the info on how to dose and minimize adverse health consequences could be kept out in the open.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 04, 2014 @12:42PM (#45865545)

          He combined heroin with Xanax and an antihistamine. That is a pretty reckless combination. Sure, it's possible that the heroin was uncharacteristically pure.

          Nevertheless, if you combine three depressant drugs (two of them quite strong), you're always risking an overdose. You can't really blame this one on prohibition.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          If this was an OD due to illegal drugs, then it's likely that it wouldn't have occurred if the drugs were simply legal.

          What a bunch of crackpot nonsense.

          I guess Micheal Jackson would have been alive if just propofol would be legal?? [wikipedia.org]

          Prescriptions now biggest cause of fatal drug overdoses

          http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-09-30-drug-overdose_N.htm [usatoday.com]

          Simply the reason that something is NOT illegal, does not make it safe. How many people die of alcohol overdose each year? Too lazy to find out? Let me help you.

          http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-1/110-120.htm [nih.gov]

          he annual average number of deaths for which alcohol poisoning was listed as an underlying cause was 317, with an age-adjusted death rate of 0.11 per 100,000 population. An average of 1,076 additional deaths included alcohol poisoning as a contributing cause, bringing the total number of deaths with any mention of alcohol poisoning to 1,393 per year (0.49 per 100,000 population). Males accounted for more than 80 percent of these deaths.

          If only alcohol was a legal drug, right?? Right?

          There are many reasons for legalizing illegal drugs (most

          • by Guido von Guido II (2712421) on Saturday January 04, 2014 @02:24PM (#45866103)

            You're missing the point. As you pointed out, legality and known purity is not going to prevent all overdoses, but it would prevent some.

            If you're buying drugs on the street, it's difficult to tell exactly how pure. This means that by taking the same mass of a particular drug, you're not going to get precisely the same amount of active ingredient. If your latest dose is sufficiently purer than your typical dose, then you may overdose.

            What complicates this is that many addicts will go off of their drug of choice for a period of time and lose their tolerance. When they start using again, their bodies can't handle as much but they try to use their old dose and overdose.

            • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Saturday January 04, 2014 @03:22PM (#45866439) Homepage

              While all of this is true to an extent, the bigger problem is mix and match. There is very little real data on the effects of mixing multiple classes of drugs other than to tell the user 'it's dangerous, don't do it'. Most ODs are from either naive users, as you point out, or users who get drunk (typically), then add a slurry of other drugs, then go somewhere dark to pass out and then just quit breathing.

              Most ODs would be thwarted by having the presumptive victim in the same room as other people who have managed to keep enough of their brainstem function so as to remain breathing spontaneously. Calling 911 or just kicking the victim in the groin is pretty easy, even for the lay person.

              (Channel to the OD scene in 'Pulp Fiction'... )

        • by Oligonicella (659917) on Saturday January 04, 2014 @01:44PM (#45865857)
          I have known a number of druggies, some on various hard stuffs. No. They would still OD. People still huff, knowing full well it coats your lungs. People still sniff gasoline, knowing full well it destroys your brain. These are two completely legal substances. No. People would still be stupid. You can't bypass stupid with a label.
          • True, some would still OD, but there wouldn't be as many. Not everyone doing drugs is careless with their life.
          • by rtb61 (674572)

            Which is exactly why cheap easy access tends to solve it own problem, evolution in action. They die happy and peaceful (except of course alcohol) and we don't suffer from drug related crimes or pay the extreme cost of imprisonment in order to destroy their lives to save them from 'er' dying happy.

        • If this was an OD due to illegal drugs, then it's likely that it wouldn't have occurred if the drugs were simply legal. You cannot "know your dose" with illegal drugs because you: 1. don't know what drug it really is at all; 2. don't know the concentration or purity. The best way to reduce ODs would be to legalize everything, then all the info on how to dose and minimize adverse health consequences could be kept out in the open.

          The thing with speed balls (cocaine plus heroin) is to maximize the rush while minimizing the side effects. This is a never ending race to OD. Many heroin users have died due to unknowingly using uncut drugs, Janice Joplin, etc. But speed balls are another beast all together.

        • by LoRdTAW (99712) on Saturday January 04, 2014 @03:16PM (#45866409)

          I am surprised this got modded insightful. Nothing against the parent but knowing your dose wouldn't help in cases like this. It was an OD from a cocktail of heroin, cocaine, Diphenhydramine (aka Benadryl) and Alprazolam (aka Xanax). Even if they were legal, no sane doctor would ever advise taking all four together. This was nothing more than death from reckless drug use. You could legalize everything, provide safe usage guidelines and people would still die like this. Its the same as speeding, losing control of your car and dying in a car crash caused by your own recklessness. you knew the limit, you were taught to follow it but you ignored it.

          Basically the worst thing you can do is mix this stuff together. They do it to have one drug counteract the other eg. coke is a stimulant and heroine is a depressant. The two are combined to get the extreme euphoria of heroin but having the coke combat the sedation (most heroin users shoot up and pass out). Those two used together is called a speedball [wikipedia.org] and has killed quite a few famous people, and many more regular users.

          Why he also chose to throw benadryl and Xanax on top of that deadly mix is beyond me.

        • by flyneye (84093)

          1 .have a good idea of what you have. Experience helps.
          2. purity will ALWAYS be diluted by every hand it passes through. If you go to a higher source, expect more purity.

          Yes, legalizing everything would work nicely.
          Those without a predisposition to indulge, don't.
          Laws protect no one but legislators.

        • by DaveV1.0 (203135)
          You know what else would have prevented this overdose? Not doing drugs. Really simple way not to OD.
      • Always know your dose.

        Other words of wisdom from Ron White: "Never let a mormon set your buzz level."

    • by HiThere (15173)

      But you're believing the story. It might be true. I'm not sure I want to be any more definite than that. Without knowing the person, I don't know whether it is plausible or not. I don't know whether the "girlfriend" actually was such, and I don't know if someone was out to get him.

      A few years ago I would have accepted this story without much question. These days there are so many proven lies told as official stories, that I don't even believe when they say something plausible. I think you've got to le

      • by Pav (4298)
        This is important... in a well functioning society there's a social cost for betraying trust, and that is being viewed with suspicion in future. Even if you believe a mundane explanation is most likely it's still a social duty to regard certain entities with suspicion.
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Saturday January 04, 2014 @10:51AM (#45864991)

    Slashdot is really letting itself go, when posts describing the mundane reality take precedence over a good conspiracy story.

    Or could it be that the coroner was bought by the peacemaker manufacturing lobby to give that statement? Hmm...

    • by mcgrew (92797) * on Saturday January 04, 2014 @11:28AM (#45865163) Homepage Journal

      It's easy to get away with murdering a drug user. Even if the guy's a speed freak and he dies of a barbiturate overdose, it's automatically an accident.

      • This is another good argument for not using drugs like heroine and coke which you can OD on. I forget the exact quote, but it goes something like "The L.D.50 of cannabis is a 5kg brick thrown from the 7th floor of a high rise".

    • by phantomfive (622387) on Saturday January 04, 2014 @01:36PM (#45865815) Journal

      Or could it be that the coroner was bought by the peacemaker manufacturing lobby to give that statement?

      It was heroin. Someone else could have injected it.

      • It was heroin. Someone else could have injected it.

        It was a drug cocktail.

        Evidence of long-tern drug and alcohol abuse isn't likely to escape the notice of a competent pathologist.

        The autopsy report has now been made available and says Mr Jack had shown "no visible or palpable evidence of trauma".
        Instead, his physical symptoms indicated an accidental overdose of heroin, cocaine, and prescription drugs.
        The report said Mr Jack's girlfriend had found him lying in bed unresponsive, with "multiple bottles of beer and champagne in the garbage can".

        Elite Hacker Barnaby Jack 'overdosed on drugs' [bbc.co.uk]

        • The report said Mr Jack's girlfriend had found him lying in bed unresponsive, with "multiple bottles of beer and champagne in the garbage can".

          There. That's it. The smoking gun. No self respecting whacked out druggy is going to put the bottles in the trash can. He'd recycle them.

      • by quantaman (517394)

        Or could it be that the coroner was bought by the peacemaker manufacturing lobby to give that statement?

        It was heroin. Someone else could have injected it.

        It's possible, lots of things are possible. Where's the evidence that it happened?

        • In all likelihood, there are at least three errors in the news report of the story. Whether there's evidence or not, it will be hard for us to know.
  • Bad things (Score:2, Interesting)

    by onyxruby (118189)

    These medications are bad for you, people die once in while, were going to sue and try to ban them. This seems to get just about everyone's approval. However these other medications that were made in a garage or jungle or other unsanitary conditions and routinely kill untold numbers of people but just happen to get people high. Let's legalize them!

    If an alien species were to look and observe these types of things they would mark "do not contact" after determining the human race was crazy as hell.

    • Re:Bad things (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mikeabbott420 (744514) on Saturday January 04, 2014 @11:29AM (#45865169) Journal
      Legal drugs aren't made in jungles or unsanitary conditions regardless of any intoxicating property. This is actually one of the arguments for legalizing recreational drugs, e.g. people buying weed in Colorado are far less likely to buy weed that has been sprayed with toxic chemicals like pesticides.
    • Re:Bad things (Score:5, Informative)

      by Immerman (2627577) on Saturday January 04, 2014 @11:51AM (#45865285)

      Actually medications are very rarely banned - what usually happens is doctors just stick to prescribing the safer drugs unless they prove ineffective, in which case they switch to the riskier ones. You know, that whole "Do no harm" oath they take.

      As for the recreational stuff - the point of legalization is not necessarily to voice approval, its an acknowledgement that prohibition doesn't actually work and never has, no matter how draconian the punishments (remember that story about a couple people in a garden and an apple? Or maybe the one about Al Capone?). And that most of the evils associated with the drug trade are due to it's illegal nature, not the drug itself. Since it can't be stopped we may as well legalize it so we can deprive the really horrible, violent people who control the black market of the massive revenue stream that provides most of their funding. Not to mention bringing production into a safer more regulated environment and stopping the militarization of the police force and the erosion of civil liberties. And of course improving the security of the borders - do you really thing a foreign terrorist would try to smuggle his dirty bomb through customs when he can just buy a ticket on a well-established drug run instead? Oh, and reducing human trafficking - slavery is more profitable when you can piggyback on established drug routes instead of having to do everything yourself.

      Besides which, the only recreational drug currently getting any traction towards legalization in the US is marijuana, which is far safer than alcohol by any measure you care to name. And most of the really nasty synthetic stuff was explicitly created as a cheaper or legal alternative to something illegal. If you could buy medical grade cocaine at the corner store with only the usual commercial markup, how many people do you suppose would choose black-market heroin instead?

      • by Fnord666 (889225)

        Actually medications are very rarely banned - what usually happens is doctors just stick to prescribing the safer drugs unless they prove ineffective, in which case they switch to the riskier ones. You know, that whole "Do no harm" oath they take.

        You must be seeing different doctors that I do. It seems like a lot of doctors these days prescribe whichever new drug the pharmaceutical rep is pushing this month. Even more so if the pharmaceutical company is providing a multi-day "informational" or "familiarization" conference that happens to be on a cruise ship in the Caribbean.

        • Yep.... I remember a while back, taking my kid to see the psychologist the school recommended, after a lot of prodding that she needed to see someone about her apparent ADHD. (While not a big fan of all the use of drugs for this, I relented because I'm divorced, with pretty much full custody of my kid. Today's combination of public schools and child services means they can quickly make things get ugly for you if you say no to their repeated suggestions.)

          Anyway, the doctor looked over some of the notes th

          • general practitioners are not super smart people. they had to be, once, to pass their exams, but they quickly forget most of their training and now just hawk the pharma products they were told to.

            I once had a really bad medical condition that lasted for several months. I was on short-term disab due to this and I kept going to the doctor to find out what was wrong. their approach? try this antibiotic for a few weeks and come back. we'll see how it worked. if that didn't do it, we'll try this one. and

          • by vlueboy (1799360)

            His answer? "Oh, there are a number of options out there, but I just like this one because it's the one I'm most familiar with." (A quick survey of his office revealed several promotional items around from guess which drug company? Yep....)

            I mean, come on.... if you're in this field, shouldn't you be "familiar with" pretty much ALL of the drugs for something as common as ADHD?

            Put yourself in their shoes by replacing "drugs" with Operating System and problem with "Viruses." Do slashdot pros know *all* the choices for something as "common" as an OS choice?
            Just like slashdot pros can choose to be offering/installing their favorite OS (Windows, Linux favors or Macs), in the end, the doctor is doing what they know. That's better than EXPERIMENTING on your child as step 1. If step 1 fails, then they begin unpacking the lesser known alternatives and outliers. Or you can get a second op

      • If you could buy medical grade cocaine at the corner store with only the usual commercial markup, how many people do you suppose would choose black-market heroin instead?

        I'm curious, since I like your comment generally- was this a 'typo' or did you really mean this. If so, please explain your reasoning. I.e. one is a stimulant, the other a depressant.

        • by Immerman (2627577)

          Hmm, I could have sworn... wiki...,wiki...,wiki...

          Oops, good catch. It was opiates that heroin was created to replace. It's amphetamines that were created to replace cocaine.

    • by Cyfun (667564) on Saturday January 04, 2014 @12:10PM (#45865393) Homepage

      Illegal narcotics are made in garages and jungles in unregulated conditions BECAUSE they can't be made legally. One of the main reasons they cause so much harm to people is BECAUSE of these poor manufacturing conditions and how they're cut. We should legalize them simply to allow us to create and distribute them in a safer manner that we can regulate and monitor.

      Besides, people die many times more from prescription drug abuse than illegal drug abuse.

      And alien races likely avoid us because of or proclivity for violence over diplomacy, greed over innovation, and utter lack of common sense. If anything, legalizing narcotics and spending the money treating addicts instead of just tossing them in jail would make it MORE likely that aliens would see us as sensible motherfuckers and contact us.

      So... let's legalize drugs so we can meet some hot green Orion women already!

    • by fermion (181285)
      Death is often related to drug abuse. Like guns, the drug does kill, the person does, usually themselves. Right now I would say the bigger issue is abuse of prescription drugs. On big problem is the doctors are complicit. The famous drug addict Rush Limbaugh, for instance, get all his drugs legally. There a millions of people who are addicted to legal prescription drugs, and death rates are as high, or higher, than 20 in 100,000 of the population.

      Again, what we need to look for and provide help for i

      • You do realize that Limbaugh lied his ass off to get the drugs. He received them from multiple physicians in several states. It is unclear how carefully the various doctors screened Limbaugh for misuse and I will bet that a majority of them didn't do due diligence, but the 'patient' has more than a little complicity here.

        Drug abusers (including alcoholics, who are famous for this) lie all of the time. When we do urine drug screens on patients we see all sorts of interesting results. "No, doc, never to

  • by TheloniousToady (3343045) on Saturday January 04, 2014 @10:55AM (#45865011)

    From the Top Secret coroner's report on 007's death:

    Witnesses report that the decedent ingested a cocktail of drugs just prior to death. When they tried to revive him, he was shaken, but not stirred.

  • Should have gone MI5 style. He died of a drug overdose. The 45 calibre hole in his head was from the needle. The doors and windows were smashed inwards in a suspected altercation with his dealer.

  • by Max Threshold (540114) on Saturday January 04, 2014 @11:50AM (#45865275)
    If you do drugs, the CIA will definitely use an overdose to assassinate you.
  • If we can, let's put this death into the form of a something like a "Dead Schroedinger's Cat" and put it in a box for the time being.

    You don't know for sure why this dead cat is dead, because you don't know enough about it, so you, being no sort of authority on the hidden and ever-changing features of the sub rosa, cannot make well-founded claims as to the causes behind this guy's death.

    The "cat" is either dead from a legitimate overdose, or the "cat" is dead from being administered a bad cocktail by some a

    • Does it matter if the guy was chasing his personal dragon and fucked up, or whether somebody showed up at his place and interrogated and killed him with his own drugs and some stuff found in the medicine cabinet?

      Yes, as a matter of fact it does. You see, if you overdose yourself, then the overdoser is dead. However, if someone else did it, then they're still out there, ready to overdose someone again. As a scientist I need no False Schroedinger "cat" Dichotomy. I can attribute percentages of likelihoods as to the cause beyond all or nothing. Right now I'm leaning towards a conclusion of self overdose rather than foul play, but I don't eliminate the latter possibility. Using this mental model I can make inform

  • Drugs can be great fun if used wisely. Why would he not indulge?

    Some drugs are often fatal (booze and nicotine especially), and others can be if one gets silly. Not everyone is Keith Richards so some folks croak. No big deal and not a surprise.

Porsche: there simply is no substitute. -- Risky Business

Working...