Jail Security Flaw


I read an article regarding flaws in a security system in a jail. After a power surge the guards were surprised to find all of the cells on death row opened. They did some investigating and found that the security system could be manipulated to actually control these cells and possibly release inmates. These findings were due in part to the fact that guards were not following proper protocol when it came to using computer stations which controlled the closing and opening of cell doors.

This fortifies my beliefs that no matter how good your security system is it is only as good as your weakest link. Most of the time the biggest security flaws come from human error. Something as simple as a guard checking his e-mails on a computer which is connected to the cell doors could have led to a cyber intruder gaining control of those very same cell doors keeping dangerous inmates under control.

I find that the more complex security systems are the easier it is for problems to arise and human error to become an issue. Proper training and direction trumps complexity from my personal experience in several jobs. A security engineer had this to say regarding security procedures: “If the prisons change their security procedures, they could probably fix the problem 98 percent on their own.”

2 thoughts on “Jail Security Flaw

  1. Interesting – even jails are becoming digital in a way. Whoever oversees the systems being put in place to control cell doors, gates, and alarms better be damn sure the software works without a glitch. I’m also surprised that a security facility failed to have a power backup.

    A lot of errors are still in the hands personnel, however, in today’s emerging society more and more systems are being automated. Something to think about is how long before we depend on virtually unmanned correctional facilities? We’re already running unmanned aircrafts…

  2. I was also surprised to hear that. My guess is that the power was restored through the back up but it caused the doors to reset before the backup could generate power. I’ve also though about the automated jail cells as well as other facilities. I dont believe they could be truly automated since maintenance and overseeing is often needed to make sure that things are being carried out the way they are supposed to.

Comments are closed.