Monday 22 April 2013


Jailed Hacker Cracked Prison Network

Nicholas Webber, jailed for 5 years for creating a hacker’s forum website, was accidentally invited into an IT class in prison. As you might guess, the consequences of this move appeared difficult.

Now the prison authorities are arguing about who let it happen, but it actually doesn’t matter any more. For some reason, Nicholas Webber was allowed into an IT class in his prison, despite the fact that he was serving 5 years for launching a website called GhostMarket. The latter allowed people interested in writing computer viruses to partake of stolen IDs and enjoy private credit card data to congregate.

The hacker was caught using hacked personal data to purchase everything from smart devices to hotel stays. Although one might have thought that an IT class would have been dull for such expert, in fact inviting him to an IT class encouraged him to enjoy a little mischief. In result, the computer network at Her Majesty’s Prison Isis, South London, was hacked.

The mistake which led to the hacking back in 2011 has only come to light after the teacher at the IT class in jail, Michael Fox, launched a lawsuit against the college which employed him for unfair dismissal. The teacher claims he wasn’t aware that Webber had been a hacker. However, Prison Isis banned him and sent notes to other prisons that his talents were allegedly imperfect. As a result, Kensington and Chelsea College also laid him off.

According to the representatives of the prison, at the time of this incident the educational computer system at Isis was a closed network, without access to personal data or wider access to the worldwide web or other prison systems. However, the press reports announced that a “major panic” ensued. Michael Fox told an employment tribunal that the perceived problem was there was a tutor who had consequently been excluded by the jail and charged with allowing a hacker to crack the jail’s network.

Of course, someone must have known that Nicholas Webber was charged for hacking before he went to the IT class – the individual was sometimes referred to as a “notorious cyber-criminal”. It is unclear who might it have been if not Fox.

Her Majesty’s Prison Isis specializes in criminals under 25 and is located next to Her Majesty’s Prison, Belmarsh. It is also considered to be a maximum security facility. In the meantime, after the accident the BBC reported that the prison had been “bedeviled” with faulty technology.

No comments: