Five prisoners in the U.S built two personal computers from parts of recycling, and hid them in the ceiling of a closet, and connect those two PCs to the Internet through the Prison’s network.
This incident has been made public by State of Ohio’s Office of the Inspector General but occurs in 2015 after a long investigation.
The spare parts used by the prisoners in building the PCs where from Marion Correction Institution’s, a program that helps rehabilitates prisoners by allowing them to break down old PC’s into parts for recycling.
The Inspector General was alerted after Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction’s (ODRC) migrated it’s Marion Correctional Institution from Microsoft proxy servers to Websense. Then the ODRC’s Operation Support Center (OCS) received an email alerting them a computer on the network had exceeded a daily internet usage, Then further alerts on their email regarding hacking and proxy avoidance. The ODRC’s IT Team began tracking the unauthorized computer.
The Inspector General Said:
On the above date and time I was following up on information received from OSC IT department. I had been told there was a PC on our network that was being used to try and hack through the proxy servers. They narrowed the search area down to the switch in P3 and the PC was connected to port 16. I was able to follow the cable from the switch to a closet in the small training room. When I removed the ceiling tiles I found 2 PCs hidden in the ceiling on 2 pieces of plywood.
Forensics Analyst said that the prisoners had accessed to internal information of other inmates, and also issue access to multiple areas within the Prisons. Further investigation by the forensics analysts team revealed hackers toolkit like Password Cracking tool, Virtual Private Network (VPN), Network enumeration tools among others where found on the two computer Hard disk.
They also found Self Signed Certificate, Pidgin Chat Account, Tor Sites, Tor geo exit nodes, ether soft, virtual phone, pornography, videos, VideoLan, and other various software.
Five of them have been identified as being involved with the hidden computers and also they are being separated and moved to other correctional facilities.
Source: Report Of Investigation [PDF]