News & Opinion | July 28, 2018 5:00 am

Idaho Prisoners Hack iPads, Transfer $225k in Credit to Themselves

Inmates hacked hand-held prison tablets to fill their own accounts.

(Getty Images)
Getty Images/EyeEm

Prison officials reports that 364 Idaho inmates hacked hand-held prison tablets and proceeded to transfer nearly a quarter of a million dollars worth of tablet credits to their own accounts. Those credits can be used to purchase email, music and games. The improper conduct involved no taxpayer dollars, said Jeff Ray, a spokesperson for the Idaho department of correction, and the issue was discovered by the department’s special investigations unit earlier this month.

The JPay tablets are popular in prisons across the country, and are available to any Idaho prisoner through a contract with JPay, which provides digital services in prisons, and CenturyLink, a telecommunications company, according to The Guardian. Prisoners can email their families and friends, purchase and listen to music or play games on the tablets.

“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,” Ray said in a prepared statement, according to The Guardian. 

For now, the company has suspended the ability of the prisoners to download music and games until they compensate JPay for its losses. They can, however, send and receive emails.