What's New!

Chat with

How to Defend
Your Computer 

The Guides
to (mostly) 
Harmless Hacking

Happy Hacker 
Digests (old stuff) 

Hacker Links 


Meet the 
Happy Hacksters 

Help for 



It Sucks 
to Be Me!

How to Commit
Computer Crime (not)! 

What Is a 
Hacker, Anyhow? 

Have a 
Great Life! 

News from the 
Hacker War Front

So you want to be a computer criminal?

More what to do if you are busted...


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. 


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. 

More what to do when you are busted--->>

Carolyn's most
popular book,
in 4th edition now!

For advanced
hacker studies,
read Carolyn's

Google Groups
Subscribe to Happy Hacker
Visit this group