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Idaho inmates hacked prison tablets and stole $225,000

One inmate transferred almost $10,000 to their JPay account.
Kris Holt, @krisholt
July 27, 2018
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Brendan McDermid / Reuters

Inmates in five Idaho prisons exploited a vulnerability on their JPay tablets to steal almost $225,000 worth of credits, according to officials. The Idaho Department of Correction said 364 prisoners boosted their JPay account balances, according to The Associated Press. The department unearthed the issue earlier this month, and noted taxpayer dollars were not affected.

Prisoners can use credits to buy music, ebooks, stamps (to pay for email and inbound video messages), games and even the JPay tablets themselves. They can use the tablets to catch up on the news, access educational materials and view photos and videos. Inmates' loved ones can buy the tablets for them, and talk to the prisoners with a video chat visitation.

After prisoners seemingly communicated with each other on how to exploit the vulnerability, one inmate transferred almost $10,000 to their account, while 50 added more than $1,000. JPay has blocked inmates from downloading music and games until they pay back the company, though they can still use email. JPay has recovered over $65,000 worth of credits so far. Officials have disciplined the inmates who were allegedly involved; they may lose privileges and could be deemed a higher security risk.

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