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C. GETTING DESIGNATED
Once you are sentenced, the BOP has to figure out what they
want to do with you. There is a manual called the "Custody
and Classification Manual" that they are supposed to follow.
It is publicly available through the Freedom of Information Act
and it is also in most prison law libraries. Unfortunately, it
can be interpreted a number of different ways. As a result, most
prison officials responsible for classifying you do pretty much
as they please.
Your first classification is done by the Region Designator
at BOP Regional Headquarters. As a computer hacker you will most
likely be placed in a camp or a low FCI. This is assuming you
weren't pulling bank jobs on the side. -IF- you do wind up in
an FCI, you should make it to a camp after six months. This is
assuming you behave yourself.
Another thing the Region Designator will do is to place a
"Computer No" on your file. This means you will not
be allowed to operate a computer at your prison work assignment.
In my case I wasn't allowed to be within 10 feet of one. It was
explained to me that they didn't even want me to know the types
of software they were running. Incidentally, the BOP uses PC/Server
based LANs with NetWare 4.1 running on Fiber 10baseT Ethernet
connections to Cabletron switches and hubs. PC based gateways
reside a t every prison. The connection to the IBM mainframe (Sentry)
is done through leased lines via Sprintnet's Frame Relay service
with 3270 emulation software/hardware resident on the local servers.
Sentry resides in Washington, D.C. with SNA type network con centrators
at the regional offices. ;-) And I picked all of this up without
even trying to. Needless to say, BOP computer security is very
lax. Many of their publicly available "Program Statements"
contain specific information on how to use Sentry and wha t it's
designed to do. They have other networks as well, but this is
not a tutorial on how to hack the BOP. I'll save that for if they
ever really piss me off. (humor)
Not surprisingly, the BOP is very paranoid about computer
hackers. I went out of my way not to be interested in their systems
or to receive computer security related mail. Nevertheless, they
tried restricting my mail on numerous occasions. After I filed
numerous grievances and had a meeting with the warden, they decided
I was probably going to behave myself. My 20 or so magazine subscriptions
were permitted to come in, after a special screening. Despite
all of that I still had occasional problems, usually when I received
something esoteric in nature. It's my understanding, however,
that many hackers at other prisons have not been as fortunate
as I was.
D. IGNORANT INMATES
You will meet some of the stupidest people on the planet in
prison. I suppose that is why they are there, too dumb to do anything
except crime. And for some strange reason these uneducated low
class common thieves think they deserve your respect. In fact
they will often demand it. These are the same people that condemn
everyone who cooperated, while at the same time feel it is fine
to break into your house or rob a store at gunpoint. These are
the types of inmates you will be incarcerated with, an d occasionally
these inmates will try to get over on you. They will do this for
no reason other than the fact you are an easy mark.
There are a few tricks hackers can do to protect themselves
in prison. The key to your success is acting before the problem
escalates. It is also important to have someone outside (preferably
another hacker) that can do some social engineering for you. The
objective is simply to have your problem inmate moved to another
institution. I don't want to give away my methods but if staff
believes that an inmate is going to cause trouble, or if they
believe his life is in danger, they will move him or loc k him
away in segregation. Social engineered letters (official looking)
or phone calls from the right source to the right department will
often evoke brisk action. It's also quite simple to make an inmates
life quite miserable. If the BOP has reason to be lieve that an
inmate is an escape risk, a suicide threat, or had pending charges,
they will handle them much differently. Tacking these labels on
an inmate would be a real nasty trick. I have a saying: "Hackers
usually have the last word in arguments." In deed.
Chances are you won't have many troubles in prison. This especially
applies if you go to a camp, mind your own business, and watch
your mouth. Nevertheless, I've covered all of this in the event
you find yourself caught up in the ignorant behavior of inmates
whose lives revolve around prison. And one last piece of advice,
don't make threats, truly stupid people are too stupid to fear
anything, particularly an intelligent man. Just do it.
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