Prisoners build computers from canabalized parts; tap into state network.

Without intending to encourage such behavior, I have to say that this was an impressive feat.

I am always impressed by the range of prison ingenuity from prison hooch to improvised weapons to fully functional underground economies. If they weren’t such criminally minded fuckups, they could have a perfectly good career in corporate America.

There are plenty of criminally minded fuckups in corporate America.

And one of them found his way into the White House MHO.

Criminally minded? Yes, but the fuckups don’t stay around for long.

Thinking about this (and trying to keep the thread on track) I have to wonder if there weren’t guards involved. Were these guys able to sit in a closet tapping on a keyboard for hours without being noticed? They had to have spent hours and hours online to accomplish what they did.

They didn’t think to hack into the system and ‘parole’ themselves?

I suspect they wanted too. :slight_smile: Given enough time they might have pulled it off.

Building a PC is easy. I custom built and sold them for years. A power supply, motherboard and hard drive is the bare minimum. A lot of motherboards have built-in graphics and Ethernet port. A case isn’t absolutely required. I could mount a motherboard in almost anything. A plastic trash can, wooden box, maybe even inside a wall cavity. You just have to keep it from shorting out against any metal. Then mount the power supply nearby and plug the cables into the MB.

Where they got the software is an interesting question. They might have used an old hard drive that hadn’t been wiped. Windows would try to reconfigure itself to the new hardware automatically. Plug and Pray would go nuts reconfiguring drivers but it might work. If not, then just try another scrapped hard drive.

Peripherals like a keyboard and monitor would have to be acquired and hidden in the prison.

I’m more impressed with what they did with the computer. One of those prisoners must have been a former hacker before prison.

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I’d suggest an easy future security measure.

Make CERTAIN no intact ribbon cables get into the prison recycling area. Reach inside the pc with dykes and cut the cables in several places.

No cables means no working homemade PC’s in the prison.

My states recycling program requires us (at work) to wipe the hard drive with software that writes to every sector. Or we can just pull it and destroy the drive. Then the PC goes off to the state recycling center for sale. State agencies get first opportunity to buy. Anything they don’t buy gets offered to the general public.

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(emphasis added). With what?? :eek:

Diagonal cutters

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Software is no problem. A small thumb drive can be easily smuggled in. It can also be used to (slowly) boot an OS in case all the HDDs are nuked.

Cutting cables? There’s enough stuff in a prison workshop to repair cables.

The thing is what does “recycle” mean in this context? Certainly not for any metals or anything. They don’t even do that in China much anymore.

For the parts for resale or something? Most parts in a donated computer aren’t worth anything. But resale limits how much damage can be done before turning it over to the inmates.

For refurbishing? To, in turn, donate them to poor families or some such. Possibly still worth it. But, again, you don’t want to damage anything first.

Oh! :smack: Didn’t find that in my initial googling (guess my google-fu is crappy today). Made me very confused! :smiley:

SATA cables only have 7 connectors so splicing one together would be trivial. Power has more pins, but the larger wires make it even easier.

The best solution is hardening the internal network to prevent unauthorized traffic.

Heck, just remove all ethernet connections to areas the prisoners have access to. And any power outlets in prisoner-accessible areas should be in highly visible locations.

Everyone: Let’s keep the off-topic political comments and jabs out of here.

That means no cables in ceilings (which is apparently where they tapped in). It seems like that would be difficult.

I suppose you wouldn’t have to physically connect to anything other than electricity if the prison has WiFi and you can hack into it.

With all of aceplace57’s talk of dykes and

Can we really be sure he’s not posting from Cell Block B?


Ever seen this video featuring mass murderer Richard Speck, filmed a few years before he died? It starts at about 2:10.