Former inmate pleads guilty to hacking prison computer

A former prisoner of the Plymouth County Correctional Facility pled guilty today in federal court to intentionally damaging the prison’s computer network while he was an inmate.

Acting United States Attorney Michael K. Loucks and Warren T. Bamford, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation – Boston Field Division, announced that Francis G. Janosko, age 43, pled guilty before U.S. District Judge George A. O’Toole, Jr., to one count of intentional damage to a protected computer.

At today’s plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that had the case proceeded to trial the Government’s evidence would have proven that while Janosko was an inmate at the Plymouth County Correctional Facility in 2006 and 2007, the correctional facility provided inmates a computer for legal research with security controls to prohibit Internet access, e-mail, or using other computers or computer programs. Despite these restrictions, Janosko hacked the computer network to send e-mail; provide inmates access to a report that listed the names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, home addresses and telephone numbers, and past employment history of over 1,100 current and former Plymouth County Correctional Facility personnel and applicants; and access (without success) an important prison management computer program.

Judge O’Toole scheduled sentencing for December 15, 2009. Under the terms of the plea agreement, both parties will recommend a sentence of incarceration for 18 months, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, and restitution to Plymouth County in an amount to be determined. Janosko had been free following his release from the Plymouth County Correctional Facility, but has been incarcerated since he was re-arrested in November 2008.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott L. Garland of Loucks’s Computer Crime Unit.

Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office

Update: The Patriot Ledger provides a few additional details.

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