How To Begin In The World Of HaCking/Phreaking


I am not responsible for any of the information in this document, if it is used for any other purpose than educational reading. Some of the information on this page can be used illegally if the reader does not act responsible.When I got into hacking, i realized that there wasnt many text philes for  newbies. so, i decided to write one. i dont really care about misspelled werds or puncuation so, please ignore the mistakes. In this document i willrefer you to other documents a lot. (because why should i waste my time rewriting something that has already been writen?) If at anytime while reading this document you ask yourself “So…How do I hack?”, then go away now and save yourself the frustration because you’ll never learn. To   hack you must understand everything about a system, and then you can get  ideas and try them out.  I tried to keep this phile as short as possible, when you read this you should just get an idea about how to hack and why we hack. If you read thisdocument and the philes that i have listed, you should have a good ideaon what to do, how to do it, and why. Remember every ‘project’ is different.You have to use your brain and adjust to each different one. Tools: There are a few things you need to have to be a hacker/phreaker. ‘puter – computer (duh)terminal software – a program like, hyper terminal or ordinary terminal that allows you to dial out to another system.blue box  – (exerpted from 2600faq)Blue boxes use a 2600hz tone to size control of telephone switches that use in-band signalling. The caller may then access special switch functions, with the usual purpose of making free long distance phone calls, using the tones provided by the Blue Box.
scanner – a scanner is a program that dials out every number in your area and listens for tones that are comming from other modems. (helps you locateyour local targets) a good scanner is Toneloc. Find it!Fone (phone) line – I hope you know whut this is…It also helps to know a computer language ex: C, C++ ect.
Info resources:I dont know many good boards anymore because almost all of their sysops (system operators) have been busted.  But I suggest you get a server that uses netscape and get unlimited access to the www(World wide web). And visit these good homepages by entering their name in the webcrawler search engine (http://webcrawler.com) Silicon Toads Hacking ResourcesFlamestrike EnterprisesThe Plowsk¥ Page (mine, you can reach me from there)Matervas HideoutBurns LairCold fire  From these pages you will find a wealth of information on h/p                                                         (hacking/phreaking)
getting started:  the first thing you must do is get on your computer, open your terminal software and connect to a board. (bulletin board, bbs).  This is a must!(its also a VERY basic thing). (You can usually find a bbs number on a homepage or enter bbs in a search engine.) Now that you can do that, start reading. Read as many text philes as possible. Required reading: Hackers Manifesto (at bottom)Hackers Code of ethicsAny old issues of Phrackany old issues of 26002600faqany text documents on systems (unix, iris, dec)DOD (department of defense) standardsAny philes on boxes (blue(one at bottom), red, beige) For beginners, which most of you probably are, I suggest you find some of the following systems that exist in your area and work on them first. (they are the easiest and least risky)This next segment is excerpted from:A Novice’s Guide to Hacking- 1989 edition                 by                        The Mentor                                  Legion of Doom/Legion of Hackers
IRIS-      IRIS stands for Interactive Real Time Information System.  It orig-inally ran on PDP-11’s, but now runs on many other minis.  You can           spot an IRIS by the ‘Welcome to “IRIS” R9.1.4 Timesharing’ banner,           and the ACCOUNT ID? prompt.  IRIS allows unlimited tries at hacking           in, and keeps no logs of bad attempts.  I don’t know any default           passwords, so just try the common ones from the password database           below.           Common Accounts:           MANAGER           BOSS           SOFTWARE           DEMO           PDP8           PDP11           ACCOUNTINGDEC-10-    An earlier line of DEC computer equipment, running the TOPS-10           operating system.  These machines are recognized by their           ‘.’ prompt.  The DEC-10/20 series are remarkably hacker-friendly,           allowing you to enter several important commands without ever           logging into the system.  Accounts are in the format [xxx,yyy] where           xxx and yyy are integers.  You can get a listing of the accounts and           the process names of everyone on the system before logging in with           the command .systat (for SYstem STATus).  If you seen an account           that reads [234,1001]   BOB JONES, it might be wise to try BOB or           JONES or both for a password on this account.  To login, you type           .login xxx,yyy  and then type the password when prompted for it.           The system will allow you unlimited tries at an account, and does           not keep records of bad login attempts.  It will also inform you           if the UIC you’re trying (UIC = User Identification Code, 1,2 for           example) is bad.           Common Accounts/Defaults:           1,2:        SYSLIB or OPERATOR or MANAGER           2,7:        MAINTAIN           5,30:       GAMES
UNIX-      There are dozens of different machines out there that run UNIX.           While some might argue it isn’t the best operating system in the           world, it is certainly the most widely used.  A UNIX system will           usually have a prompt like ‘login:’ in lower case.  UNIX also           will give you unlimited shots at logging in (in most cases), and           there is usually no log kept of bad attempts.           Common Accounts/Defaults: (note that some systems are case           sensitive, so use lower case as a general rule.  Also, many times           the accounts will be unpassworded, you’ll just drop right in!)           root:       root           admin:      admin           sysadmin:   sysadmin or admin           unix:       unix           uucp:       uucp           rje:        rje           guest:      guest           demo:       demo           daemon:     daemon           sysbin:     sysbinCode of ethics: Once you get in a system, do not manipulate anything but the log file (erase the record of your bad logins) and anywhere you might have left your handle. (name, a.k.a.) You dont want to leave your handle anywhere because they WILL be able to track you down by your handle alone.Its ok to be paranoid!Dont think for one minute that you are undetectable, if you make any mistakes, you could get caught. Here is a list of things you could do to help yourself from getting in trouble. * Encrypt your entire hard drive* hide your files in a very safe spot.* dont tell anyone that you dont know very well about your hacking. Good   hackers never reveal specific details to anyone about their current project.  They give only very vague hints of what they are doing. * dont openly give out your real name or address* dont join any major hacking groups, be an individual.* Dont hack government computers, ESPECIALLY YOUR OWN GOVERNMENTS! Foreign   computers can sometimes be phun, but dont say i didnt warn you!* Make sure that you dont leave any evidence that you have been in a system   and any evidence of who it was.* Use your brain.If you follow most of these guidelines, you should be safe. The last thing you want is to end up in a one room apartment located in the third floor ofthe state prision with your cellmate Bruno, the ax murderer,  whose doing life.Getting in:The hardest thing about hacking is getting the numbers for a system. You can do this by using a scanning program. Then, once you connect to a systemyou must first recognise what kind of system you have connected to. (by theway, for you real brainiacs, you have to use your terminal software to callanother system.) You can usually do this by looking at the prompt you get,if you get one. (check the Unresponsive section) Sometimes a system will tell you as soon as you connect by saying some thing like “hello, welcome to Anycompany using anysystem v 1.0″ When you determine what system you haveconnected to, this is when you start trying your logins. You can try typingin demo and as your userid and see if you can find any users names to try.If you enter a name and you are allowed in without a password you usually, but not always, have entered a name that you cant do a whole lot with but, it can still be phun and you can probably find clues on how to get in on another name.While your in:There are usually many interesting files you can read in all of these systems. You can read files about the system. You might want to try a help command. They will usually tell you a lot. Sometimes, if your lucky, you canmanage to download the manual of the system!There is nothing like the thrill of your first hack, even if it wasnt a verygood one, it was probably still phun. You could read every text phile in theworld and you still probably wouldnt learn as much as you do during your first hack. Have Phun!This next segment is also excerpted from:A Novice’s Guide to Hacking- 1989 edition                 by                        The Mentor                                  Legion of Doom/Legion of Hackers
Unresponsive Systems~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~   Occasionally you will connect to a system that will do nothing but sitthere.  This is a frustrating feeling, but a methodical approach to the systemwill yield a response if you take your time.  The following list will usuallymake *something* happen.1)  Change your parity, data length, and stop bits.  A system that won’t re-    spond at 8N1 may react at 7E1 or 8E2 or 7S2.  If you don’t have a term    program that will let you set parity to EVEN, ODD, SPACE, MARK, and NONE,    with data length of 7 or 8, and 1 or 2 stop bits, go out and buy one.     While having a good term program isn’t absolutely necessary, it sure is    helpful.2)  Change baud rates.  Again, if your term program will let you choose odd    baud rates such as 600 or 1100, you will occasionally be able to penetrate    some very interesting systems, as most systems that depend on a strange    baud rate seem to think that this is all the security they need…3)  Send a series of <cr>’s.4)  Send a hard break followed by a <cr>.5)  Type a series of .’s (periods).  The Canadian network Datapac responds    to this.6)  If you’re getting garbage, hit an ‘i’.  Tymnet responds to this, as does    a MultiLink II.7)  Begin sending control characters, starting with ^A –> ^Z.8)  Change terminal emulations.  What your vt100 emulation thinks is garbage    may all of a sudden become crystal clear using ADM-5 emulation.  This also    relates to how good your term program is.9)  Type LOGIN, HELLO, LOG, ATTACH, CONNECT, START, RUN, BEGIN, LOGON, GO,    JOIN, HELP, and anything else you can think of.10) If it’s a dialin, call the numbers around it and see if a company    answers.  If they do, try some social engineering.I tried to keep this phile as short as possible to save downloading time and just telling you the very basics like what you need to do and what you need to read. I hope this was helpful.
Plowsk¥ PhreakHere are two philes i copied for your reading pleasure:bluebox.txtandThe Hackers Manifestobluebox.txt -The Secrets of the Little Blue Box Originally found in Esquire MagazineTHE BLUE BOX IS INTRODUCED: IT’S QUALITIES ARE REMARKEDI am in the expensively furnished living room of Al Gilbertson, the creatorof the blue box. Gilbertson is holding one of his shiny black-and-silverblue boxes comfortably in the palm of his hand, pointing out the thirteenlittle red push buttons sticking up from the console. He is dancing hisfingers over the buttons, tapping out discordant beeping electronic jingles.He is trying to explain to me how his little blue box does nothing less thanplace the entire telephone system of the world, satellites, cables and all,at the service of the blue-box operator, free of charge.”That’s what it does. Essentially it gives you the power of a superoperator. You sieze a tandem with this top button,” he presses the topbutton with his index finger and the blue box emits a high-pitched cheep,”and like that,” the box cheeps again “you control the phone company’s longdistance switching systems from your cute little Princess phone or any oldpay phone. And you’ve got anonymity. An operator has to operate from adefinite location. The phone company knows where she is and what she’sdoing. But with your blue box, once you hop onto a trunk, say from a HolidayInn 800 number, they don’t know where you are, or where you’re coming from,they don’t know how you slipped into their lines and popped up in that 800number. They don’t even know anything illegal is going on. And you canobscure your origins through as many levels as you like. You can call nextdoor by way of White Plains, then over to Liverpool by cable and then backhere by satellite. You can call yourself from one pay phone all the wayaround the world to a pay phone next to you. And you get your dime back too.”And they can’t trace the calls? They can’t charge you?””Not if you do it the right way. But you’ll find that the free-call thingisn’t really as exciting at first as the feeling of power you get fromhaving one of these babies in your hand. I’ve watched people when they firstget hold of one of these things and start using it, and discover they canmake connections, set up crisscross and zigzag switching patterns back andforth across the world. They hardly talk to the people they finally reach.They say hello and start thinking of what kind of call to make next. They goa little crazy.” He looks down at the neat little package in his palm. Hisfingers are still dancing, tapping out beeper patterns.”I think it’s something to do with how small my models are. There are lotsof blue boxes around, but mine are the smallest and most sophisticatedelectronically. I wish I could show you the prototype we made for our bigsyndicate order.”He sighs. “We had this order for a thousand blue boxes from a syndicatefront man in Las Vegas. They use them to place bets coast to coast, keeplines open for hours, all of which can get expensive if you have to pay. Thedeal was a thousand blue boxes for $300 apiece. Before then we retailed themfor $1500 apiece, but $300,000 in one lump was hard to turn down. We had amanufacturing deal worked out in the Philippines. Everything was ready togo. Anyway, the model I had ready for limited mass production was smallenough to fit inside a flip-top Marlboro box. It had flush-touch panels fora keyboard, rather than these unsightly buttons sticking out. Looked justlike a tiny portable radio. In fact I had designed it with a tiny transistorreceiver to get one AM channel, so in case the law became suspicious theowner could switch on the radio part, start snapping his fingers and no onecould tell anything illegal was going on. I thought of everything for thismodel–I had it lined with a band of thermite which could be ignited byradio signal from a tiny button transmitter on your belt, so it could beburned to ashes instantly in case of a bust. It was beautiful. A beautifullittle machine. You should have seen the face on these syndicate guys whenthey came back after trying it out. They’d hold it in their palm like theynever wanted to let it go, and they’d say, ‘I can’t believe it.’ Youprobably won’t believe it until you try it.”THE BLUE BOX IS TESTED: CERTAIN CONNECTIONS ARE MADEAbout eleven o’clock two nights later Fraser Lucey has a blue box in thepalm of his left hand and a phone in the palm of his right. His is standinginside a phone booth next to an isolated shut-down motel. I am standingoutside the phone booth.Fraser likes to show off his blue box for people. Until a few weeks ago whenPacific Telephone made a few arrests in his city, Fraser Lucey liked tobring his blue box to parties. It never failed: a few cheeps from his deviceand Fraser became the center of attention at the very hippest of gatherings,playing phone tricks and doing request numbers for hours. He began to takeorders for his manufacturer in Mexico. He became a dealer.Fraser is cautious now about where he shows off his blue box. But he nevergets tired of playing with it. “It’s like the first time every time,” hetells me.Fraser puts a dime in the slot. He listens for a tone and holds the receiverup to my ear. I hear the tone.Fraser begins describing, with a certain practiced air, what he does whilehe does it.”I’m dialing an 800 number now. Any 800 number will do. It’s toll free.Tonight I think I’ll use the Ryder Rent A Van number. Listen it’s ringing.Here, you hear it? Now watch.”He places the blue box over the mouthpiece of the phone so that the onesilver and twelve black push buttons are facing up toward me. He presses thesilver button – the one at the top – and I hear that high-pitched beep.”That’s 2600 cycles per second to be exact,” says Lucey. “Now, quick,listen.”He shoves the ear piece at me. The ringing has vanished. The line gives aslight hiccough, there is a sharp buzz, and then nothing but soft whitenoise.”We’re home free now,” Lucey tells me, taking back the phone and applyingthe blue box to its mouthpiece once again. “We’re up on a tandem, into along-lines trunk. Once you’re up on a tandem, you can send yourself anywhereyou want to go.” He decides to check you London first. He chooses a certainpay phone located in Waterloo station. This particular pay phone is popularwith the phone-phreaks because there are usually people walking by at allhours who will pick it up and talk for a while.He presses the lower left-hand corner button which is marked “KP” on theface of the box.”That’s Key Pulse. It tells the tandem we’re ready to give it instructions.First I’ll punch out KP 182 START, which will slide us into the overseassender in White Plains.” I hear neat clunk-cheep. “I think we’ll head overto England by satellite. Cable is actually faster and the connection issomewhat better, but I like going by satellite. So I just punch out KP Zero44. The Zero issupposed to guarantee a satellite connection and 44 is thecountry code for England. Okay…we’re there. In Liverpool actually. Now allI have to do is punch out the London area code which is 1, and dial up thepay phone. Here, listen, I’ve got a ring now.”I hear the soft quick purr-purr of a London ring. Then someone picks up thephone. “Hello,” says the London voice.”Hello, Who’s this?” Fraser asks.”Hello. There’s actually nobody here. I just picked this up while I waspassing by. This is a public phone. There’s no one here to answer actually.””Hello. Don’t hang up. I’m calling from the United States.””Oh. What is the purpose of the call? This is a public phone you know.””Oh. You know. To check out, uh, to find out what’s going on in London. Howis it there?””It’s five o’clock in the morning. It’s raining now.””Oh. Who are you?”The London passerby turns out to be an R.A.F. enlistee on his way back tothe base in Lincolnshire, with a terrible hangover after a thirty-six hourpass.He and Fraser talk about the rain. They agree that it’s nicer when it’s notraining. They say good-bye and Fraser hangs up. His dime returns with a niceclink.”Isn’t that far out,” he says grinning at me. “London. Like that.”Fraser squeezes the little blue box affectionately in his palm. “I told yathis thing is for real. Listen, if you don’t mind I’m gonna try this girl Iknow in Paris. I usually give her a call around this time. It freaks herout. This time I’ll use the Penske 800 number and we’ll go by overseas cable133; 33 is the country code for France, the 1 sends you by cable. Okay, herewe go. Oh damn. Busy. Who could she be talking to at this time?”A state police car cruises slowly by the motel. The car does not stop, butFraser gets nervous. We hop back into his car and drive ten miles in theopposite direction until we reach a Texaco station locked up for the night.We pull up to a phone booth by the tire pump. Fraser dashes inside and triesthe Paris number. It is busy again.”I don’t understand who she could be talking to. The circuits may be busy.It’s too bad I haven’t learned how to tap into lines overseas with thisthing yet.”Fraser begins to phreak around, as the phone phreaks say. He dials a leadingnationwide charge card’s 800 number and punches out the tones that bring himthe Time recording in Sydney, Australia. He beeps up the Weather recordingin Rome, in Italian of course. He calls a friend in Chicago and talks abouta certain over the counter stock they are into heavily. He finds the Parisnumber busy again. He calls up a dealer of another sort and talks in code.He calls up Joe Engressia, the original blind phone phreak genius, and payshis respects. There are other calls. Finally Fraser gets through to hisyoung lady in Paris. They both agree the circuits must have been busy, andcriticize the Paris telephone system. At two-thirty in the morning Fraserhangs up, pockets his dime, and drives off, steering with one hand, holdingwhat he calls his “lovely little blue box” in the other.YOU CAN CALL LONG DISTANCE FOR LESS THAN YOU THINK”You see, a few years ago the phone company made one big mistake,”Gilbertson explains two days later in his apartment. “They were carelessenough to let some technical journal publish the actual frequencies used tocreate all their multi-frequency tones. Just a theoretical article some BellTelephone Laboratories engineer was doing about switching theory, and helisted the tones in passing. At MIT I had been fooling around with phonesfor several years before I came across a copy of the journal in theengineering library. I ran back to the lab and it took maybe twelve hoursfrom the time I saw that article to put together the first working blue box.It was bigger and clumsier than this little baby, but it worked.”It’s all there on public record in that technical journal written mainly byBell Lab people for other telephone engineers. Or at least it was public.”Just try and get a copy of that issue at some engineering school librarynow. Bell has had them all red-tagged and withdrawn from circulation,”Gilbertson tells me.”But it’s too late now. It’s all public now. And once they became public thetechnology needed to create your own beeper device is within the range ofany twelve-year-old kid, any twelve-year-old blind kid as a matter of fact.And he can do it in less than the twelve hours it took us. Blind kids do itall the time. They can’t build anything as precise and compact as my beeperbox, but theirs can do anything mine can do.””How?””Okay. About twenty years ago AT&T made a multi-million dollar decision tooperate its entire long-distance switching system on twelve electronicallygenerated combinations of six master tones. Those are the tones yousometimes hear in the background after you’ve dialed a long distance number.They decided to use some very simple tones. The tone for each number is justtwo fixed single-frequency tones played simultaneously to create a certainbeat frequency. Like 1300 cycles per second and 900 cycles per second playedtogether give you the tone for digit 5. Now, what some of these phonephreaks have done is get themselves access to an electric organ. Any cheapfamily home entertainment organ. Since the frequencies are public knowledgenow, one blind phone phreak has even had them recorded in one of thosetalking books for the blind, they just have to find the musical notes on theorgan which correspond to the phone tones. Then they tape them. Forinstance, to get Ma Bell’s tone for the number, you press down organ keys F3and A3 (900 and 700 cycles per second) at the same time. To produce the tonefor 2 it’s F3 and C6 (1100 and 700 c.p.s). The phone phreaks circulate thewhole list of notes so there’s no trial and error anymore.”He shows me a list of the rest of the phone numbers and the two electricorgan keys that produce them.”Actually, you have to record these notes at 3 3/4 inches per second tapespeed and double it to 7 1/2 inches per second when you play them back, toget the proper tones,” he adds.”So once you have all the tones recorded, how do you plug them into thephone system?””Well, they take their organ and their cassette recorder, and start bangingout entire phone numbers in tones on the organ, including country codes,routing instructions, ‘KP’ and ‘Start’ tones. Or, if they don’t have anorgan, someone in the phone-phreak network sends them a cassette with allthe tones recorded with a voice saying ‘Number one,’ then you have the tone,’Number two,’ then the tone and so on. So with two cassette recorders theycan put together a series of phone numbers by switching back and forth fromnumber to number. Any idiot in the country with a cheap cassette recordercan make all the free calls he wants.””You mean you just hold the cassette recorder up to the mouthpiece andswitch in a series of beeps you’ve recorded? The phone thinks that anythingthat makes these tones must be its own equipment?””Right. As long as you get the frequency within thirty cycles per second ofthe phone company’s tones, the phone equipment thinks it hears its own voicetalking to it. The original grandaddy phone phreak was this blind kid withperfect pitch, Joe Engressia, who used to whistle into the phone. Anoperator could tell the difference between his whistle and the phonecompany’s electronic tone generator, but the phone company’s switchingcircuit can’t tell them apart.The bigger the phone company gets and the further away from human operatorsit gets, the more vulnerable it becomes to all sorts of phone Phreaking.”A GUIDE FOR THE PERPLEXED”But wait a minute,” I stop Gilbertson. “If everything you do sounds likephone-company equipment, why doesn’t the phone company charge you for thecall the way it charges its own equipment?””Okay. That’s where the 2600-cycle tone comes in. I better start from thebeginning.”The beginning he describes for me is a vision of the phone system of thecontinent as thousands of webs, of long-line trunks radiating from each ofthe hundreds of toll switching offices to the other toll switching offices.Each toll switching office is a hive compacted of thousands of long-distancetandems constantly whistling and beeping to tandems in far-off tollswitching offices.The tandem is the key to the whole system. Each tandem is a line with somerelays with the capability of signaling any other tandem in any other tollswitching office on the continent, either directly one-to-one or byprogramming a roundabout route several other tandems if all the directroutes are busy. For instance, if you want to call from New York to LosAngeles and traffic is heavy on all direct trunks between the two cities,your tandem in New York is programmed to try the next best route, which maysend you down to a tandem in New Orleans, then up to San Francisco, or downto a New Orleans tandem, back to an Atlanta tandem, over to an Albuquerquetandem and finally up to Los Angeles.When a tandem is not being used, when it’s sitting there waiting for someoneto make a long-distance call, it whistles. One side of the tandem, the side”facing” our home phone, whistles at 2600 cycles per second toward all thehome phones serviced by the exchange, telling them it is at their service,should they be interested in making a long-distance call. The other side ofthe tandem is whistling 2600 c.p.s. into one or more long distance trunklines, telling the rest of the phone system that it is neither sending norreceiving a call through the trunk at the moment, that it has no use forthat trunk at the moment.When you dial a long-distance number the first thing that happens is thatyou are hooked into a tandem. A register comes up to the side of the tandemfacing away from you and presents that side with the number you dialed. Thissending side of the tandem stops whistling 2600 into its trunk line. When atandem stops the 2600 tone it has been sending through a trunk, the trunk issaid to be “seized,” and is now ready to carry the number you have dialed,converted into multi-frequency beep tones, to a tandem in the area code andcentral office you want.Now when a blue-box operator wants to make a call from New Orleans to NewYork he starts by dialing the 800 number of a company which might happen tohave its headquarters in Los Angeles. The sending side of this New Orleanstandem stops sending 2600 out over the trunk to the central office in LosAngeles, thereby seizing the trunk. Your New Orleans tandem begins sendingbeep tones to a tandem it has discovered idly whistling 2600 cycles in LosAngeles. The receiving end of that L.A. tandem is seized, stops whistling2600, listens to the beep tones which tell it which L.A. phone to ring, andstarts ringing the 800 number. Meanwhile, a mark made in the New Orleansoffice accounting tape indicates that a call from your New Orleans phone tothe 800 number in L.A. has been initiated and gives the call a code number.Everything is routine so far.But then the phone phreak presses his blue box to the mouthpiece and pushesthe 2600-cycle button, sending 2600 out from the New Orleans tandem noticesthe 2600 cycles are coming over the line again and assumes that New Orleanshas hung up because the trunk is whistling as if idle. But,Thus the blue-box operator in New Orleans now is in touch with a tandem inL.A. which is waiting like and obedient genie to be told what to do next.The blue-box owner then beeps out the ten digits of the New York numberwhich tells the L.A. tandem to relay a call to New York City. Which itpromptly does. As soon as your party picks up the phone in New York, theside of the New Orleans tandem facing you stops sending 2600 to you andstarts carrying his voice to you by way of the L.A. tandem. A notation ismade on the accounting tape that the connection has been made on the 800call which had been initiated and noted earlier. When you stop talking toNew York a notation is made that the 800 call has ended.At three the next morning, when phone company’s accounting computer startsreading back over the master accounting tape for the past day, it recordsthat a call of a certain length of time was made from your New Orleans hometo an L.A. 800 number and, of course the accounting computer has beentrained to ignore these toll free 800 calls when compiling your monthlybill.”All they can prove is that you made an 800 call,” Gilbertson the inventorconcludes. “Of course, if you’re foolish enough to talk for two hours on an800 call, and they’ve installed one of their special anti-fraud computerprograms to watch out for such things, they may spot you and ask you why youtook two hours talking to Army Recruiting’s 800 number when you’re 4-F. Butif you do it from a pay phone, they may discover something peculiar the nextday, if they’ve got a blue-box hunting program in their computer, but you’llbe a long time gone from the pay phone by then. Using a pay phone is almostguaranteed safe.””What about the recent series of blue-box arrests all across the country,New York, Cleveland, and so on?” I asked. “How were they caught so easily?””From what I can tell, they made one big mistake. They were seizing trunksusing an area code plus 555-1212 instead of an 800 number. When you sendmulti-frequency beep tones off 555 you get a charge for it on your tape andthe accounting computer knows there’s something wrong when it tries to billyou for a two-hour call to Akron, Ohio, information, and it drops a troublecard which goes right into the hands of the security agent if they’relooking for blue-box users.”Whoever sold those guys their blue boxes didn’t tell them how to use themproperly, which is fairly irresponsible. And they were fairly stupid to usethem at home all the time. But what those arrests really mean is that anawful lot of blue boxes are flooding into the country and that people arefinding them so easy to make that they know how to make them before theyknow how to use them. Ma Bell is in trouble.””And if a blue-box operator or a cassette-recorder phone phreak sticks topay phones and 800 numbers, the phone company can’t stop them?””Not unless they change their entire nationwide long-lines technology, whichwill take them a few billion dollars and twenty years. Right now they can’tdo a thing. They’re screwed.”CAPTAIN CRUNCH DEMONSTRATES HIS FAMOUS UNITThere is an underground telephone network in this country. Gilbertsondiscovered it the very day news of his activities hit the papers. Thatevening his phone began ringing. Phone phreaks from Seattle, from Florida,from New York, from San Jose, and from Los Angeles began calling him andtelling him about the phone-phreak network. He’d get a call from a phonephreak who’d say nothing but, “Hang up and call this number.”When he dialed the number he’d find himself tied into a conference of adozen phone phreaks arranged through a quirky switching station in BritishColumbia. They identified themselves as phone phreaks, they demonstratedtheir homemade blue boxes which they called “MFers”(for multi-frequency,among other things) for him, they talked shop about phone phreak devices.They let him in on their secrets on the theory that if the phone company wasafter him he must be trustworthy. And, Gilbertson recalls, they stunned himwith their technical sophistication.I ask him how to get in touch with the phone-phreak network. He digs aroundthrough a file of old schematics and comes up with about a dozen numbers inthree widely separated area codes.”Those are the centers,” he tells me. Alongside some of the numbers hewrites in first names or nicknames: names like Captain Crunch, Dr. No, FrankCarlson, (also a code word for free call), Marty Freeman (code word for MF
device), Peter the Perpendicular Pimple, Alefnull, and The Cheshire Cat. Hemakes checks alongside the names of those among these top twelve who areblind. There are five checks.I ask him who this Captain Crunch person is.”Oh, The Captain. He’s probably the most legendary phone phreak. He callshimself Captain Crunch after the notorious Cap’n Crunch 2600 whistle.Several years ago the makers of Cap’n Crunch breakfast cereal offered a toywhistle prize in every box as a treat for the Cap’n Crunch set. Somehow aphone phreak discovered that the toy whistle just happened to produce aperfect 2600-cycle tone. When the man who calls himself Captain Crunch wastransferred overseas to England with his Air Force unit, he would receivescores of calls from his friends and “mute” them, that is, make them free ofcharge to them, by blowing his Cap’n Crunch whistle into his end.””Captain Crunch is one of the older phone phreaks,” Gilbertson tells me.”He’s an engineer who once got in a little trouble for fooling around withthe phone, but he can’t stop. Well, this guy drives across country in aVolkswagen van with an entire switchboard and a computerizedsuper-sophisticated MFer in the back. He’ll pull up to a phone booth on alonely highway somewhere, snake a cable out of his bus, hook it onto thephone and sit for hours, days sometimes, sending calls zipping back andforth across the country, all over the world.”Back at my house, I dialed the number he gave me for “Captain Crunch” andasked for Gary Thomas, his real name, or at least the name he uses when he’snot dashing into a phone booth beeping out MF tones faster than a speedingbullet, and zipping phantomlike through the phone company’s long-distancelines.When Gary answered the phone and I told him I was preparing a text fileabout phone phreaks, he became very indignant.”I don’t do that. I don’t do that anymore at all. And if I do it, I do itfor one reason and one reason only. I’m learning about a system. The phonecompany is a system. A computer is a system. Do you understand? If I do whatI do, it is only to explore a System. Computers. Systems. That’s my bag. Thephone company is nothing but a computer.”A tone of tightly restrained excitement enters the Captain’s voice when hestarts talking about Systems. He begins to pronounce each syllable with thehushed deliberation of an obscene caller.”Ma Bell is a system I want to explore. It’s a beautiful system, you know,but Ma Bell screwed up. It’s terrible because Ma Bell is such a beautifulsystem but she screwed up. I learned how she screwed up from a couple ofblind kids who wanted me to build a device. A certain device. They said itcould make free calls. But when these blind kids told me I could make callsinto a computer, my eyes lit up. I wanted to learn about computers. I wantedto learn about Ma Bell’s computers. So I built the little device. Only Ibuilt it wrong and Ma Bell found out. Ma Bell can detect things like that.Ma Bell knows. So I’m strictly out of it now. I don’t do it. Except forlearning purposes.” He pauses. “So you want to write a text file. Are youpaying for this call? Hang up and call this number.”He gives me a number in an area code a thousand miles north of his own. Idial the number.”Hello again. This is Captain Crunch. You are speaking to me on a toll-freeloop in Portland Oregon. Do you know what a toll-free loop is? I’ll tellyou.”He explains to me that almost every exchange in the country has open testnumbers which allow other exchanges to test their connections with it. Mostof thest numbers occur in consecutive pairs, such as 302 956-0041 and956-0042. Well certain phone phreaks discovered that if two people fromanywhere in the country dial those two consecutive numbers they can talktogether just as if one had called the other’s number, with no charge toeither of them, of course.”Your voice is looping around in a 4A switching machine up there in Canada,zipping back down to me,” the Captain tells me. “My voice is looping aroundup there and back down to you. And it can’t ever cost anyone money. Thephone phreaks and I have compiled a list of many many of these numbers. Youwould be surprised if you saw the list. I could show it to you. But I won’t.I’m out of that now. I’m not out to screw Ma Bell. I know better. If I doanything it’s for the pure knowledge of the System. You can learn to dofantastic things. Have you ever heard eight tandems stacked up? Do you knowthe sound of tandems stacking and unstacking? Give me your phone number.Hang up now and wait a minute.Slightly less than a minute later the phone rang and the Captain was on theline, his voice sounding far more excited, almost aroused.”I wanted to show you what it’s like to stack up tandems (Whenever theCaptain says “stack up” he sounds like he is smacking his lips).””How do you like the connection you’re on now?” the Captain asks me. “It’s araw tandem. A raw tandem. I’m going to show you what it’s like to stack up.Blow off. Land in a faraway place. To stack that tandem up, whip back andforth across the country a few times, then shoot on up to Moscow.””Listen,” Captain Crunch continues. “Listen. I’ve got a line tie on myswitchboard here, and I’m gonna let you hear me stack and unstack tandems.Listen to this. I’m gonna blow your mind.”First I hear a super rapid-fire pulsing of flutelike phone tones, then apause, then another popping burst of tones, then another, then another. Eachburst is followed by a beep-kachink sound.”We have now stacked up four tandems,” said Captain Crunch, soundingsomewhat remote. “That’s four tandems stacked up. Do you know what thatmeans? That means I’m whipping back and forth, back and forth twice, acrossthe country, before coming to you. I’ve been known to stack up twentytandems at a time. Now, just like I said, I’m going to shoot up to Moscow.”There is a new longer series of beeper pulses over the line, a briefsilence, then a ring.”Hello,” answers a far-off voice.”Hello, Is this the American Embassy Moscow?””Yes, sir, who is calling?” says the voice.”Yes, This is test board here in New York. We’re calling to check out thecircuits, see what kind of lines you’ve got. Everything okay there inMoscow?””Okay?””Well, yes, how are things there?””Oh. Well everything’s okay, I guess.””Okay. Thank you.” They hang up, leaving a confused series of beep-kachinksounds hanging in mid-ether in the wake of the call before disolving away.
Hackers Manifesto -Another one got caught today, it’s all over the papers. “Teenager Arrestedin Computer Crime Scandal”, “Hacker Arrested after Bank Tampering”…Damn kids. They’re all alike.But did you, in your three-piece psychology and 1950’s technobrain, evertake a look behind the eyes of the hacker? Did you ever wonder what madehim tick, what forces shaped him, what may have molded him?I am a hacker, enter my world…Mine is a world that begins with school… I’m smarter than most of theother kids, this crap they teach us bores me…Damn underachiever. They’re all alike.I’m in junior high or high school. I’ve listened to teachers explain for thefifteenth time how to reduce a fraction. I understand it. “No, Ms. Smith, Ididn’t show my work. I did it in my head…”Damn kid. Probably copied it. They’re all alike.I made a discovery today. I found a computer. Wait a second, this is cool. Itdoes what I want it to. If it makes a mistake, it’s because I screwed it up.Not because it doesn’t like me…Or feels threatened by me…Or thinks I’m a smart ass…Or doesn’t like teaching and shouldn’t be here…Damn kid. All he does is play games. They’re all alike.And then it happened… a door opened to a world… rushing through thephone line like heroin through an addict’s veins, an electronic pulse is sentout, a refuge from the day-to-day incompetencies is sought… a board isfound.”This is it… this is where I belong…”I know everyone here… even if I’ve never met them, never talked to them,may never hear from them again… I know you all…Damn kid. Tying up the phone line again. They’re all alike…You bet your ass we’re all alike… we’ve been spoon-fed baby food at schoolwhen we hungered for steak… the bits of meat that you did let slip throughwere pre-chewed and tasteless. We’ve been dominated by sadists, or ignoredby the apathetic. The few that had something to teach found us willingpupils, but those few are like drops of water in the desert.This is our world now… the world of the electron and the switch, the beautyof the baud. We make use of a service already existing without paying forwhat could be dirt-cheap if it wasn’t run by profiteering gluttons, and youcall us criminals. We explore… and you call us criminals. We seek afterknowledge… and you call us criminals. We exist without skin color, withoutnationality, without religious bias… and you call us criminals. You buildatomic bombs, you wage wars, you murder, cheat, and lie to us and try tomake us believe it’s for our own good, yet we’re the criminals.Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that ofjudging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. Mycrime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive mefor.I am a hacker, and this is my manifesto. You may stop this individual, butyou can’t stop us all… after all, we’re all alike.

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