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 A history of phone phreaking

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alex
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PostSubject: A history of phone phreaking   Sat Jul 03, 2010 12:46 pm

What is a Phone Phreak?

A phone phreak is someone who experiments with the phone lines, learns the in's and out's of the telephone operators system and ways to exploit it. The new age telecom system is run by computers and managed by computers, so without knowing it the early phone phreaks created the world of hacking.

History of Phone Phreaking

The precise origins of phone phreaking are unknown, although it is believed that phreak-like experimentation began with widespread deployment of automatic switches on the telephone networks. In the United States, AT&T began introducing automatic switches for long distance and certain forms of trunking carriers in the mid-to-late 1950s. With the introduction of these switches, the general population began, for the first time, to interact with computing power on a large scale. Phreaking can be viewed as an extension of this, where individuals interested in computers and technology, yet unable to further that interest for a variety of reasons, turned to the only available option: the computer controlled telephone network. AT&T's fully automatic switches use tone dialing, a form of in-band signaling, and include some tones which are for internal telephone company use. One internal use tone is a tone of 2600 Hz which causes a telephone switch to think the call was over, and could be exploited to provide free long-distance and international calls. The tone was discovered in approximately 1957, by Joe Engressia, a blind seven-year old boy. Engressia was skilled with perfect pitch, and discovered that whistling the fourth E above middle C (a frequency of 2600 Hz) would stop a dialed phone recording. Unaware of what he had done, Engressia called the phone company and asked why the recordings had stopped. This was the beginning of his love of exploring the telephone system. Next the Captain Crunch whistle made it easier to explore the phone lines. It produced the exact pitch which Engressia had created. The whistle wasn't sold for hundreds of dollars by underground phreaks but came in the breakfast cereal Captain Crunch. This opened up a new world for Phreaks.

Blue Boxes


In October 1971, phreaking was introduced to the masses when Esquire Magazine published a story called "Secrets of the Little Blue Box" by Ron Rosenbaum. This article featured Engressia and John Draper prominently, synonymising their names with phreaking. The article also attracted the interest of other soon-to-be phreaks, such as Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, who went on to found Apple Computer.
1971 also saw the beginnings of YIPL (Youth International Party Line), a publication started by Abbie Hoffman and Al Bell to provide information to Yippies on how to "beat the man," mostly involving telephones. In 1973, Al Bell would move YIPL over and start TAP (Technology Assistance Program). TAP would develop into a major source for subversive technical information among phreaks and hackers all over the world. TAP ran from 1973 to 1984, with Al Bell handing over the magazine to "Tom Edison" in the late 70's. TAP ended publication in 1984 due mostly to a break-in and arson at Tom Edison's residence in 1983. Cheshire Catalyst then took over running the magazine for its final (1984) year.
A controversially suppressed article "How to Build a 'Phone Phreaks' box" in Ramparts Magazine (June, 1972) touched off a firestorm of interest in phreaking. This article published simple schematic plans of a "black box" used to receive free long distance phone calls, and included a very short parts list that could be used to construct one. Bell sued Ramparts which forced the magazine to pull all copies from shelves, but not before numerous copies were sold and many regular subscribers received them.


Great Phone Phreaks

John Draper (Captain Crunch)
Mark Abene (Phiber Optik)
Joybubbles (Joe Engressia, The Whistler)
Patrick Kroupa (Lord Digital)
Kevin Mitnick (Condor)
Kevin Poulsen (Dark Dante)
Steve Wozniak (Berkeley Blue)
Jered Morgan (Lucky225)
William Quinn (decoder)
Doug Brickner (doug)
Kane Ryan Marlow (TRON) (Not to be confused with Boris Floricic)
Brad Carter (RBCP)
Matt Blaze (M.F. Tones)

Documentry Links
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIaNq_lGKcU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBNRviXJtTU&feature=related

I have not watched those videos so please no comments telling me they were not relivant.

Hope you liked it. Basketball
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PostSubject: Re: A history of phone phreaking   Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:53 pm

Nice post bro, thanks for sharing, ill give this a nice read. I knew about phreaking but it doesnt hurt to read more lol

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PostSubject: Thnx   Sat Jul 03, 2010 3:37 pm

Hey man thnx for shring this info, i m new to phone phreaking. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: A history of phone phreaking   Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:18 am

mistermostwanted wrote:
Hey man thnx for shring this info, i m new to phone phreaking. Very Happy

It's hard to do now a days however my grand parents still use dial up so thats how i study it and practice also getting free internet for your mobile phone / cell phone. jocolor
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