In what sounds like a combo of The Shawshank Redemption and Hackers, two inmates at an Ohio prison were busted for repurposing PCs meant to be taken apart for recycling purposes, then stashing the DIY devices in a prison ceiling, the BBC reports. Even though the hidden handiwork was discovered at the Marion Correctional Institution in 2015, details are just now being released, and accusations of a lack of adequate inmate supervision are being lobbed by the state's Office of the Inspector General, per WCMH. Officials say the inmates used the PCs to apply for phony credit cards, make bogus prison security clearances, and download hacking tools, porn, and articles on drug manufacturing, among other things. The inmates, identified by Cleveland.com as Adam Johnston and Scott Spriggs, described their scheme to investigators.
The prisoners were supposed to take apart all computers received from a nonprofit as part of a recycling program, but they say they were told by a prison worker they could keep intact a couple of newer units for prison use. After furtively setting up the machines, they found an internet connection, and Johnston says he stole a contractor's password by simply staring over his shoulder as the contractor logged in. The inmates were busted one day in July 2015 only because the prison's IT staff found the daily internet usage limit had been exceeded for the contractor's account—but that contractor apparently wasn't onsite that day. An IT worker soon found a cable leading up into the ceiling tiles, behind which he found the two PCs. (Read more prisoners stories.)