Recess! Florida prison cells opened randomly thanks to computer ‘glitch’

suspicious prison glitch blamed for opening all cell doors in max security wing miami herald computer break

On June 13 at 7:04 p.m., something unusual happened at the maximum security wing of Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in Miami, Florida. All the cell doors were mysteriously unlocked at once, and three inmates took the opportunity to chase after 27-year-old Kenneth Williams with a homemade prison knife. Williams narrowly escaped the attack by jumping over second-floor balcony railing, suffering a broken ankle and fractured vertebrae in the fall.

In a new surveillance video obtained by the Miami Herald, two of the attacking inmates were seen sneaking out of their cells as soon as the doors opened, as if they were anticipating the release. The incident was the second of its kind in a month, causing officials to question whether the computerized system had been purposely compromised.

The security system in place was part of a $1.4 million upgrade installed at the prison by Black Creek Integrated Systems. This particular control panel features a group-release touchscreen button that allow guards to open cell doors simultaneously to quickly perform a head count. However, such practice is not generally used in the maximum security wing since inmates are not allowed to interact with each other in common areas.

Black-Creek-Security Display-System“The software in the computer has only one kind of thing, operator error, and we don’t know what triggers that, so part of the inquiry is to find out what the software is saying,” Miami-Dade Corrections Director Tim Ryan told Wired.

In the first incident that took place on May 20, the cell doors also mysteriously opened without authorized consent. No inmate attack took place at the time, causing officials to believe the former incident may have been used as a test to see how long guards took to react to the “glitch.” The department is currently investigating whether any officer had a role in the attack.

It is believed that the attacking inmates and Williams may have had a violent history. Before prison, Williams and his twin brother led a drug gang that allegedly ordered a 2008 hit on a rival gang member. The shooting left a 10-month-old baby dead, and two teenage gunmen were convicted for the murder. Williams and his brother were arrested after being accused of threatening the prosecutor’s key witness.

While it is going to take some time for officials to get to the bottom of the case, we can learn a few things from the incident. If a computer system at a maximum security prison could be compromised, perhaps we’re not quite ready for a world that only need touchscreen buttons and an Internet connection to unlock the doors to our homes. 

Emerging Tech

Intel’s new ‘neural network on a stick’ aims to unchain A.I. from the internet

To kick off its first developer conference in Beijing, Intel unveiled the second generation of its Neural Compute Stick -- a device that promises to democratize the development of computer vision A.I. applications.
Gaming

These are the best Xbox One games available right now

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (November 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Computing

Convert your PDFs into convenient Word documents

PDF files are great, but few document types are as malleable as those specific to Microsoft Word. Here's how to convert a PDF file into a Word document, whether you prefer to use Adobe's software suite or a freemium alternative.
Product Review

If the Surface Studio 2 can't win over Mac fans, nothing can

Most creative professionals are staunchly planted in the Apple camp, but with the Surface Studio 2, Microsoft is making a serious attempt to win them over. Despite its niche appeal, you’ll wish you had a few grand to drop on this beauty.
Computing

These laptop makers produce the most reliable, quality hardware today

If you want to buy your next laptop based around a specific brand, it helps to know which the best brands of laptops are. This list will give you a good grounding in the most reliable, quality laptop manufacturers today.
Deals

All the best Amazon Black Friday deals for 2018

Amazon may be an online-only retailer, but that doesn’t mean its Black Friday sales are anything to sniff at. In fact, due to its online status, Amazon has huge flexibility with the range of products and deals it can offer. Here's our…
Deals

Here are the best laptop deals for November 2018

Whether you've started a new school year, are shopping for a student, or you just need a new computer, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Computing

Recover your beloved data with these great software tools

The best data recovery software isn't always free, but whether you've lost files on a hard drive, SD card, or even physical media like CDs and DVDs, there's a chance they'll be able to get that data back.
Computing

If the speed of AMD’s Radeon RX 590 doesn’t entice you, the game bundle will

AMD's Radeon RX 590 is a new video card that targets 1080p gaming at maximum detail. Starting at $280, it fills a gap between the Radeon RX 580 and the more expensive Radeon RX Vega. AMD says the new RX 590 can beat Nvidia's GTX 1060 Ti.
Computing

Microsoft Surface Studio 2: Everything you need to know

Microsoft's Surface Studio 2 comes with a new CPU, new graphics card, and a brighter display -- but is all of that worth the higher cost? Here's everything you need to know about the Surface Studio 2.
Computing

Want to use one drive between a Mac and Windows PC? Partitions are your best bet

Compatibility issues between Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS X may have diminished sharply over the years, but that doesn't mean they've completely disappeared. Here's how to make an external drive work between both operating systems.