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Man Hacks Jail Computer Network To Get Inmate Released Early ( 31

An anonymous reader writes: A Michigan man pleaded guilty last week to hacking the computer network of the Washtenaw County Jail, where he modified inmate records in an attempt to have an inmate released early. To breach the jail's network, the attacker used only spear-phishing emails and telephone social engineering.

The man called jail employees and posed as local IT staffers, tricking some into accessing a website, and downloading and installing malware under the guise of a jail system upgrade. Once the man (Konrads Voits) had access to this data, investigators said he accessed the XJail system, searched and accessed the records of several inmates, and modified at least one entry "in an effort to get that inmate released early." Jail employees noticed the modification right away and alerted the FBI. The man as arrested a month later and is now awaiting sentencing (maximum 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000).

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Man Hacks Jail Computer Network To Get Inmate Released Early

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  • by whiskeyzulu ( 2505002 ) on Monday December 04, 2017 @05:03PM (#55675007)
    ...and changed his social studies grade first.
  • by Anon-Admin ( 443764 ) on Monday December 04, 2017 @05:05PM (#55675025) Journal

    A few years ago there was a person who forged the court release paper work and faxed it over to the jail.

    They got the fax, processed it as it normally would have been processed, and the guy was released that day. They did not catch the mistake for almost a week. lol

    • by RhettLivingston ( 544140 ) on Monday December 04, 2017 @05:26PM (#55675179) Journal

      Suspect you're talking about this Florida prison escape by two inmates []. The crazy thing about that story is how they were caught. All felons in Florida are required to register their locations after release. These two guys actually registered their location. They were working under the delusion that nobody would ever figure it out and doing everything possible to follow the law.

      I'm pretty sure that they paid a lot for the forgery though. So it wasn't easy or cheap.

      The concept of escaping from a prison and staying out for any length of time was common in older days but is pretty much dead in America today. The vast majority are caught almost immediately. All escapees do is add to their sentences.

      Jail is a somewhat different story. Authorities may simply not care enough to launch a massive manhunt with a jailbreak by a misdemeanor offender. At the same time, the gain is less so why do it. These guys will have a vast loss for next to no gain.

  • Plainly he wanted to be arrested and get put into the prison, that's when the REAL trojan he implanted into the system will take effect and give him full access to the armory and all other prisoners...

  • maximum 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000

    Will this mysteriously be changed to a $10 fine and a couple of days in prison?

  • What I want to know is, why was this guy Voits trying to hack into the prison? Sure, the report can show what he did (court papers: [] ), but the story is missing the component of why? Why would Voits risk his life, fortune and livelihood to hack into this prison software? Who's record was he after? Was there a person he was specifically targeting to alter their record? The journalists here have found such a juicy headline, but I think they jumped the gun a bit on publishing.
    • by hendric ( 30596 ) *

      Why? Well, reducing the sentence of a random prisoner was the red herring. The real reason he hacked the prison records was to extend the sentences of certain prisoners. Who's going to believe a prisoner in 6 years who says he should be getting out when the computer says he should be doing 20 to life?

  • by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Monday December 04, 2017 @07:14PM (#55676093) Journal
    Hey, uh... the computer says I actually supposed to be getting out of jail...
    Prison Guard: You're supposed to be in that line.
    [points to the door]
    Prison Guard #2: Hey, guys, the computer says let him out!
    • by grumling ( 94709 )

      'Cause, I was, you know-
      I was definitely in prison, okay?
      I got sat on my face and everything.

    • by KWTm ( 808824 )

      Reminds me of this silly comedy superhero cartoon for 10-year-olds that I happened to get a glimpse of at some restaurant (so I don't know the name of the show or its characters).

      The evil granny-like old lady stole all the merchandise in the store by walking up to the security guard at the door and saying, "Oh, and I have this coupon for : I get everything in the store for free." (shows coupon)
      Guard: "Oh, okay."

  • by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Monday December 04, 2017 @07:28PM (#55676171) Journal

    The jail only has a capacity of 332. That may sound like a lot, but that is smaller than, say, your typical rural high school Especially when you consider it is two jails in one (the men and women are kept totally separate, so the male capacity may only be 200-250). Changes in the system would be noticed too easily in a jail that small, where there are less employees and it is easier for them to be more familiar with the inmate population.

Programmers do it bit by bit.