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A former US inmate has pleaded guilty to hacking into the prison's computer system to obtain the personal data of more than 1,100 prison service workers.

Francis G Janosko, 43, of Halifax and Plymouth, Massachussets, confessed to computer hacking offences on Tuesday. In return, charges of aggravated identity theft were dropped.

Even so, he is looking at a possible 18-month spell inside, followed by three years on probation, at a sentencing hearing on 15 December, according to local reports.

Janosko was jailed in 2006 for parole violation following a conviction on child pornography charges. He was convicted of harassing an underage girl and taking obscene pictures of her the year before.

In his time in Plymouth County prison between October 2006 to February 2007, he hacked into a database containing the names, addresses and Social Security numbers of hundreds of current and former prison service workers. Janosko shared this information with other inmates. He also obtained login credentials for the prison-management computer program, but was caught before he abused this information.

Incredibly, Janosko carried out all the hacks using a prison computer supposedly limited to legal research tasks. ®

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