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back to article Hackers can spring Death Row crims from cells

Computer systems used to control federal prison facilities are riddled with vulnerabilities that might allow criminals to meddle with cell door opening mechanisms or shut down internal communications systems, according to security researchers. The vulnerabilities – which stem from flaws in industrial control systems and …

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FAIL

>all of the cells on death row popped open

>correctional facilities

Yeah...

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Anonymous Coward

Well, it IS correcting a mighty mistake: that they are still alive.

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Anonymous Coward

I smell a movie script

Sounds like a Colin Farrell number to me. Assuming he sobers up.

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Trollface

Brings a whole new meaning to the term ...

...jail-break

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Facepalm

I think you mean a whole OLD meaning to the term "jailbreak".

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Silver badge
FAIL

I think (s)he means

the jail is broken, as opposed to braking out of the jail.

This would, in fact, be a new meaning.

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I'm sorry... REMOTELY?

Why is "mission critical" stuff not a locked down private system with zero outside world connection?

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Why is it not locked down? Because then the vendor couldn't use LogMeIn and a very simple shared password to connect in when there's a problem. Couldn't expect the poor dears to have to send a field tech out now could you?

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Remote connections are ...

...often included in the spec by management so they can see what is happening remotely. And they often don't want to spend the cash on a hardware firewall.

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Anonymous Coward

No Imagination

They develop a hack that can remotely open prison doors and all they can think of to do with it is warn the prisons? No rescuing political prisoners? No helping billionaire banking criminals escape justice in exchange for fat stacks of cash? No creating a doomsday virus that simultaneousness frees serial killers and disables power plants at midnight January 1, 2012?

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Unhappy

So why are prison SCADAs accessible from the internet?

Just wondering. Is some guy back at the Bureau of Prisons looking at display that tells him that cell block D at such-and-such prison now has cell doors unlocked because its time for lunch? And if so, why?

Sounds like these systems should be locked down and not accessible.

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Of course, all it takes is a couple of key controlled, mechanical switches in place and you can cut these vulnerabilities right down.

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Unhappy

Why am I not in the least surprised by this?

Could it be there is some form of pattern here?

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T J
FAIL

Use Linux or QNX

Or even VXWorks. This isnt a job for shit.

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Anonymous Coward

'Why is "mission critical" stuff not a locked down ...'

I guess its just not an open-and-shut-case as some may think ...

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Anonymous Coward

New social media app: Friend-a-con?

Aww, he looks hot.

I think we should let him out.

[bzzt-click]

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Anonymous Coward

I though John Leyden was English. Why can't he spell gaol?

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Flame

"Remote maintenance"

Still the hackers best friend.

But as others pointed out some key switches wired *directly* to the mains comm link circuits would stop a lot of this. In principal. If the jail did not leave it *permanently* switched on of course.

BTW A jail break assisted by hacking the jails security systems is a kick off event in the film version of Tom Clancy's "Netforce."

Of course at the time it looked absurd because (to me) it seemed obvious that IRL no one would *really* be that dumb. That kind of stupidity could only happen when an author needs to move the story along in a hurry.

Silly me.

This potential clusterf**k is brought to you by the words "cheap", "convenient" and "simple".

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Joke

Thank God it's not an Apple system...

"Not that big of a deal. You're holding your prisoners wrong."

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"Traced to a power surge"

Eh? That might wash on Star Trek, but not in proper engineering. This is the real world, and power surges happen. If this kit can't handle that, then this was actually traced to "piss-poor engineering that couldn't cope with a standard use case".

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Brave to go public

How long before this guy find himself in those cells of the back of this?

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Anonymous Coward

Just STFU about it, and fix it FFS !!

Why wobble here about it. Get the bloody thing fixed, STAT.

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