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Inmate cripples prison systems

Inmate cripples prison systems

Ranby Prison might think twice before trusting its inmates following an attempt by a convicted cyber-criminal to lock the prison's computer system.

If you've been imprisoned for using a computer to commit credit card fraud over the Internet, the last thing you might expect is to be offered a job on the prison's computer systems; if you're the governor of the prison you might reasonably suspect that a criminal such as that might not be the best person to trust with the prison's network.

Despite this, common sense appears to have fallen by the wayside with the news that a credit card fraudster serving six years in prison for stealing approximately £6.5 million over the Internet using forged credit card details was hired by prison bosses to help create an internal TV station that would run over the Ranby Prison network.

According to the Mirror - via Softpedia - Douglas Havard "hacked into the system's hard drive" before setting up "a series of passwords so no one else could get into the system."

An unnamed source at the prison stated that the digital damage was so severe and used such "an elaborate array of passwords it took a specialist company to get it working," and expressed disbelief that "a criminal convicted of cyber-crime was allowed uncontrolled access to the hard drive [of the prison system]."

An official statement from the Prison Service claimed that a full investigation into the issue was underway, and denied that any prisoner was allowed access to systems without supervision. The Service also stated that "the prisoner was not able to access records of any other prisoners."

As a result of his attempts to - in the words of the Mirror - "[leave] the system crippled" Havard was placed in segregation. It is not known whether his behaviour will increase the amount of time he is likely to serve before release.

Do you believe that prisoners should be expected to use all their talents to repay their debt to society, or does this smack of giving the fox the keys to the hen-house? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

20 Comments

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xaser04 30th September 2009, 11:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by article

An official statement from the Prison Service claimed that a full investigation into the issue was underway, and denied that any prisoner was allowed access to systems without supervision. The Service also stated that "the prisoner was not able to access records of any other prisoners."

I am genuinely 'WTF' at the official response given by the Prison Service.

Given what has happened in this story it is blatantly flase.
Rkiver 30th September 2009, 11:23 Quote
Gee, prison to cheap to get in someone from outside who doesn't have a criminal record. Goes and gives it to someone inside, and then claim he had no access without supervision and was not able to access records of others. If he was able to lock down the entire system he "owned" it and had access to all you fracking numpties.
perplekks45 30th September 2009, 11:45 Quote
They must've paid a lot more for the "expert company" (most likely an ex-inmate for data theft) than it would've cost them to get experts in the first place.

Well done. Tax money is the money easiest to spend, eh?
mi1ez 30th September 2009, 12:02 Quote
I love their sporadic use of the term Hard Drive!
RichT 30th September 2009, 12:31 Quote
Shawshank Redemption 2 maybe....
mclean007 30th September 2009, 12:35 Quote
And in other news, 1097 inmates of Ranby Prison (operational capacity 1098) sue HM Prison Service for negligent breach of data protection by allowing a convicted cyber-criminal free reign over their computers. Government settles out of court for £1m each.
Stormwulf 30th September 2009, 12:39 Quote
roflmao!

Honestly what did they expect. Anyone with half an ounce of sense could have foretold this happening.
perplekks45 30th September 2009, 13:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclean007
And in other news, 1097 inmates of Ranby Prison (operational capacity 1098) sue HM Prison Service for negligent breach of data protection by allowing a convicted cyber-criminal free reign over their computers. Government settles out of court for £1m each.
Who'd be surprised by that?
specofdust 30th September 2009, 13:16 Quote
Don't give the scum ideas...
BLC 30th September 2009, 13:19 Quote
I read this on BBC News yesterday.

One word sums up the whole shenanigan: FAIL.
4.54billionyears 30th September 2009, 14:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichT
Shawshank Redemption 2 maybe....

that was my thought too while reading that.
pizan 30th September 2009, 14:48 Quote
Quote:
Despite this, common sense appears to have fallen by the wayside with the news that a credit card fraudster serving six years in prison for stealing approximately £6.5 million over the Internet using forged credit card details was hired by prison bosses to help create an internal TV station that would run over the Ranby Prison network.

It's now called uncommon sense.
knutjb 30th September 2009, 17:59 Quote
One would hope that ALL those involved with the decision and oversight would be required to tender their resignations.The management should also be held liable for the cost of all needed repairs. Sadly they will promise not to do it again and get a promotion for being so modest.

Who in their right mind wants to see prisoners get TV in ANY prison. They are supposed to be punished not turned into TV junkies.
Solidus 30th September 2009, 19:56 Quote
The Criminal Justice system should really be at the top of the governments priority in funding - the law of the land is what keeps people in line.

You would be surprised to learn the places that need it most dont actually get enough funds to do allot themselves apart from "get by".

Probation barely have enough money to actually help do anything with offenders - no money to invest in itself either.

We currently use computers that are older than the dinosaurs.
Psytek 30th September 2009, 20:17 Quote
Do they ask the burly tough guy inmates to stand guard?
thehippoz 30th September 2009, 21:24 Quote
in jail for 6 years and you know how to do the basics like encrypt.. heck why not
delriogw 1st October 2009, 00:43 Quote
lol this place is just down the road from me (5 miles.... ) they're useless - completely useless
B3CK 1st October 2009, 00:45 Quote
shanky887614 1st October 2009, 13:30 Quote
i laughed so hard when i first read this
what kind of incompetent fools work there anyway

and if they are so bad with computer security how is it that the jail is nearly full if there that bad why dont they just break out????
OwloftheWolery 3rd October 2009, 13:14 Quote
It's a shame that these prisoners' talents can't be put to more constructive use.

The Howard League for Penal Reform tried to put prisoners' talents to better use by setting up a graphic design business called Barbed in a prison.

You can read more about the project at http://www.howardleague.org/campaigns/ under the heading Real Work in Prisons.

It's interesting that the Prison Service doesn't seem to have showered itself in glory in that context either.
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