Jailed cybercriminal hacks own prison's computer

Posted by Kate Taylor

A British hacker jailed for computetr fraud managed to hack into his own prison's computer system during an IT lesson.

The events came to light after the IT teacher at HM Prison Isis was made redundant, and filed a case for unfair dismissal. According to the Daily Mail, Michael Fox says he had no idea that 21-year-old Nicholas Webber was a hacker, and in any case wasn't responsible for signing him up for the course.

The breach doesn't appear to have caused any harm - beyong Fox's loss of a job, of course, and some egg on the face of the prison service.

"At the time of this incident in 2011 the educational computer system at HMP Isis was a closed network," a Prison Service spokesman told the Mail. "No access to personal information or wider access to the internet or other prison systems would have been possible."

Webber was only a few months into a five-year jail sentence at the time of the hack. He'd been convicted of masterminding the GhostMarket.net website - described as a 'Facebook for criminals'.

The site offered details of thousands of credit cards, hacking instructions and even manuals on how to manufacture crystal meth and explosives. It was linked to the theft of £8 million from 65,000 bank accounts.

"Earlier this year, an official report claimed that HM Prison Isis was 'bedevilled' by technological problems, including a breakdown in its biometric thumbprint security system," says Graham Cluley of security firm Sophos. "Let's hope that they didn't ask Webber to help them fix that..."