Inmates hacked tablets to transfer $250,000 into accounts

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Over 300 inmates in Idaho successfully hacked tablets in an effort to transfer thousands of dollars of credit into their accounts. 

The tablets — made by company JPay — are intended for accessing music, ebooks, games and emails. But because of a loophole, inmates were able to use them to transfer a collective $225,000 into various accounts.

As reported by the Spokesman-Review, 364 occupants of five different Idaho correctional facilities were able to access funds through a “vulnerability” that officials didn’t discover until early July.  

Idaho Department of Correction spokesman Jeff Ray issued a statement explaining how 50 inmates were able to transfer over $1,000, and one person managed to get away with nearly $10,000. None of the money stolen was taxpayer money. 

“This conduct was intentional, not accidental. It required a knowledge of the JPay system and multiple actions by every inmate who exploited the system’s vulnerability to improperly credit their account,” Ray told the Associated Press in a statement.

According to Wired, JPay is one of the sole providers of tablets which are made specifically for prisons. It can cost inmates $0.47 to send an email, and up to $3.50 to download music. These are pretty steep prices, and paired with the low wages made in prison, it is easy suspect that this may have motivated the hack. 

Only $65,000 of credit has been recovered so far, and until the rest is back in the pockets of JPay, inmates are unable to use the tablets for anything other than email purposes. 

The only good thing about all of this? It will probably be an Oscar-nominated movie in about 10 years. 

[H/T The Spokesman-Review

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