364 inmates in a prison located in Idaho stole around $225,000 in digital credits by hacking handheld prison tablets. The ability for games and music to be downloaded within the Idaho prison has been suspended by Jpay.
Prison officials from the Idaho prison reported that a vulnerability in the handheld tablets was exploited by the group of inmates. The manufacturer of the tablets is a company called JPay.
Prisons all over the United States utilize these JPay tablets to email friends and family members, play mobile games, listen to and buy music, and transfer funds to fellow prisoners.
JPay had actually provided the prisoners with their devices for positive intentions. The company apparently did not realize that their tablets could be exploited and used to pilfer almost $225,000.
Jeff Ray, an Idaho Department of Correction spokesperson stated that the inmates intentionally exploited the vulnerability inside JPay to illegitimately boost their own JPay account balances.
Fifty of the prisoners were able to transfer more than $1,000 to their accounts by exploiting the JPay tablet flaw, the largest sum of money stolen by a single prisoner was almost $10,000. The overall amount that was stolen and credited across the accounts of 364 inmates was nearly half a million dollars.
Ray had this to say about the incident: “This conduct was intentional, not accidental. It required a knowledge of the JPay system and multiple actions by every prisoner who exploited the system’s vulnerability to improperly credit their account.”
So far, $65,000 in digital credits have essentially been recovered by the company. JPay also suspended the prisoners abilities to download any games or music inside the prison walls until the inmates compensate the company for the losses they caused. The ability to receive and send emails is still available to the inmates, however.
The exact type of vulnerability that the prisoners exploited is still unclear to investigators.
Disciplinary offense reports have been issued by the Idaho Dept. of Corrections to all of the prisoners who were involved in the incident.
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