Aug 092011

Inmates have tried many ways to break out of prison: chip away at concrete, overpower guards, tie bedsheets together.

Now, they may have a new tactic: hack into the computer system that controls prison doors.

At the DefCon hacker conference in Las Vegas this weekend, researchers showed how they found a security flaw that could allow prisoners to escape if hackers breach the prison’s computer system.

The issue came to light by accident a few years ago when a prison warden called security engineer John Strauchs with an alarming problem: all of the cells on death row had mysteriously opened.

The cause was a random power surge, but it got Strauchs thinking.

“If that can happen by accident, what would happen if you did it deliberately?” asked Strauchs, who has designed prison door control systems. … (Continue Reading)