Seems Corrections is the new whipping boy

Can’t go a day without Corrections copping some flak one way or another.  Here’s another

A computer hacker has demonstrated how home detention bracelets can potentially be fooled into letting criminals roam free.

The Department of Corrections last night denied the vulnerability affected prisoners under its care – but the hacker said its systems ran on the same cellular network he exploited.

William Turner yesterday demonstrated his ability to defeat electronic monitoring bracelets relying on the cellular phone network through a practice known as “spoofing”.

Mr Turner, known in the industry as Ammon Ra, showed Wellington’s Kiwicon conference how a bracelet could be wrapped in foil, preventing it from reporting its location, then the signal mimicked by a laptop using a $500 transmitter and some custom software.

Mr Turner then instructed the “spoof” transmitter to report movements, despite the hacker and his bracelet remaining on stage.

Well, that’s home detention out of the range of options for anyone with a modicum of computer expertise.  It also make a joke of Kim Dotcom’s new ankle jewelry, if you think about it.  

Rethinking Crime and Punishment director Ced Simpson said there was a danger in Corrections relying on electronic monitoring when in-person checks would provide greater surety.

“There is a temptation towards a simplistic mechanism. Ultimately not just victims, but people out there in the community, will benefit if we are doing everything we can to reduce the chance of reoffending,” he said.

Corrections last night said in a written statement any offender trying to circumvent home detention could face criminal charges.

“To date our electronic monitoring system has proved reliable and accurate,” corrections services national commissioner Jeremy Lightfood said.

Corrections Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga did not return calls.

Nope.   Bunker mentality.

Corrections have been exposed and embarrassed, and the minister ain’t home.

This, just yesterday.


I’d imagine that they have about two months to get their house in order before the search light comes back on.  The public is expecting more than having violent offenders out on parole against the advice of everyone, we don’t like people running away to South America, and we’d prefer those in custody to stay there.

And now, GPS ankle bracelet monitoring is probably a pointless device for people with money or tech savvy.  Money and tech savvy would be even worse, nein?


– Matt Nippert, NZ Herald

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.