Phreaking

phreakphreakerphone phreakphone phreakingphone phreaksphreakersphreaksphone phreakerphone phreakersphone-phreak
Phreaking is a slang term coined to describe the activity of a culture of people who study, experiment with, or explore telecommunication systems, such as equipment and systems connected to public telephone networks.wikipedia
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Security hacker

hackerhackinghackers
Phreaking has since become closely linked with computer hacking.
It initially developed in the context of phreaking during the 1960s and the microcomputer BBS scene of the 1980s.

Red box (phreaking)

red boxred boxes
Phone phreaks spent a lot of time dialing around the telephone network to understand how the phone system worked, engaging in activities such as listening to the pattern of tones to figure out how calls were routed, reading obscure telephone company technical journals, learning how to impersonate operators and other telephone company personnel, digging through telephone company trash bins to find "secret" documents, sneaking into telephone company buildings at night and wiring up their own telephones, building electronic devices called blue boxes, black boxes, and red boxes to help them explore the network and make free phone calls, hanging out on early conference call circuits and "loop arounds" to communicate with one another and writing their own newsletters to spread information.
A red box is a phreaking device that generates tones to simulate inserting coins in pay phones, thus fooling the system into completing free calls.

Steve Wozniak

WozniakStephen WozniakWoz Way
To ease the creation of these tones, electronic tone generators known as blue boxes became a staple of the phreaker community, a group of people that included future Apple Inc. cofounders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.
In the early 1970s, Wozniak's blue box design earned him the nickname "Berkeley Blue" in the phreaking community.

Joybubbles

Joe EngressiaJoe "Joybubbles" Engressia
The tone was discovered in approximately 1957, by Joe Engressia, a blind seven-year-old boy.
Joybubbles (May 25, 1949 – August 8, 2007), born Josef Carl Engressia Jr. in Richmond, Virginia, was an early phone phreak.

John Draper

Cap'n CrunchCaptain CrunchJohn "Captain Crunch" Draper
John Draper discovered through his friendship with Engressia that the free whistles given out in Cap'n Crunch cereal boxes also produced a 2600 Hz tone when blown (providing his nickname, "Captain Crunch").
John Thomas Draper (born March 11, 1943), also known as Captain Crunch, Crunch or Crunchman (after the Cap'n Crunch breakfast cereal mascot), is an American computer programmer and former legendary phone phreak.

Blue box

2600 Hza 2600-hertz-soundBlue box (phreaking)
Phone phreaks spent a lot of time dialing around the telephone network to understand how the phone system worked, engaging in activities such as listening to the pattern of tones to figure out how calls were routed, reading obscure telephone company technical journals, learning how to impersonate operators and other telephone company personnel, digging through telephone company trash bins to find "secret" documents, sneaking into telephone company buildings at night and wiring up their own telephones, building electronic devices called blue boxes, black boxes, and red boxes to help them explore the network and make free phone calls, hanging out on early conference call circuits and "loop arounds" to communicate with one another and writing their own newsletters to spread information. To ease the creation of these tones, electronic tone generators known as blue boxes became a staple of the phreaker community, a group of people that included future Apple Inc. cofounders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.
He and other famous phone phreaks, such as "Bill from New York" and "The Glitch", trained themselves to whistle 2600 Hz to reset a trunk line.

Black box (phreaking)

black boxblack boxes
Phone phreaks spent a lot of time dialing around the telephone network to understand how the phone system worked, engaging in activities such as listening to the pattern of tones to figure out how calls were routed, reading obscure telephone company technical journals, learning how to impersonate operators and other telephone company personnel, digging through telephone company trash bins to find "secret" documents, sneaking into telephone company buildings at night and wiring up their own telephones, building electronic devices called blue boxes, black boxes, and red boxes to help them explore the network and make free phone calls, hanging out on early conference call circuits and "loop arounds" to communicate with one another and writing their own newsletters to spread information.
Black boxes were commonly built by phone phreaks during the 1960s to 1980s (and in some places like Eastern Europe, well into the 2000s) in order to provide callers with free telephone calls.

Phrack

Phrack MagazineRandy TischlerPhrack'' magazine
In 1985, an underground e-zine called Phrack (a combination of the words Phreak and Hack) began circulation among BBSes, and focused on hacking, phreaking, and other related technological subjects.
Originally covering subjects related to phreaking, anarchy and cracking, the articles also cover a wide range of topics including computer and physical security, hacking, cryptography, counter culture and international news.

Legion of Doom (hacking)

Legion of DoomLODA hacker group
Groups then formed around the BBS hacker/phreaking (H/P) community such as the famous Masters of Deception (Phiber Optik) and Legion of Doom (Erik Bloodaxe) groups.
At different points in the group's history, LOD was split into LOD and LOD/LOH (Legion of Doom/Legion of Hackers) for the members that were more skilled at hacking than pure phreaking.

Operation Sundevil

Killer (computer)Operation Sun DevilSundevil
In the early 1990s, H/P groups like Masters of Deception and Legion of Doom were shut down by the US Secret Service's Operation Sundevil.
Prior to 1990, people who manipulated telecommunication systems, known as phreakers, were generally not prosecuted within the United States.

Freak

freaksFreakishfreakshow artist
The term phreak is a sensational spelling of the word freak with the ph- from phone, and may also refer to the use of various audio frequencies to manipulate a phone system.

Multi-frequency signaling

multi-frequencyMFmultifrequency
While single-frequency worked on certain phone routes, the most common signaling on the then long-distance network was multi-frequency (MF) controls.
Tools such as a blue box allow telephone users to engage in phreaking; otherwise telephone users do not have a use for generating these tones.

Bell Labs Technical Journal

Bell System Technical JournalBell Syst. Tech. J.BSTJ
The specific frequencies required were unknown to the general public until 1954, when the Bell System published the information in the Bell System Technical Journal in an article describing the methods and frequencies used for inter-office signalling.

AT&T Corporation

AT&TAmerican Telephone and Telegraph CompanyAmerican Telephone & Telegraph
This was also at a time when the telephone company was a popular subject of discussion in the US, as the monopoly of AT&T Corporation was forced into divestiture.
AT&T was also known as "Ma Bell" and affectionately called "Mother" by phone phreaks.

Bulletin board system

BBSbulletin board systemsBBSes
In the 1980s, the revolution of the personal computer and the popularity of computer bulletin board systems (BBSes) (accessed via modem) created an influx of tech-savvy users.
Some BBSes, called elite, WaReZ or pirate boards, were exclusively used for distributing cracked software, phreaking, and other questionable or unlawful content.

Youth International Party

YippiesYippieYIPL/TAP
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 June 1971 Abbie Hoffman and Al Bell started the pioneer phreak magazine The Youth International Party Line (YIPL).

2600: The Hacker Quarterly

26002600 Magazine2600 Films
With origins in the phone freaking community and late 20th century counterculture, 2600 and its associated conference transitioned to coverage of modern hacker culture, and the magazine has become a platform for speaking out against increased digital surveillance and advocacy of personal and digital freedoms.

Phreaking boxes

phreaking box
Phreaking boxes are devices used by phone phreaks to perform various functions normally reserved for operators and other telephone company employees.

Wawina Township, Itasca County, Minnesota

Wawina TownshipWawina Township, Itasca CountyWawina Township, Minnesota
This exchange, located in Wawina Township, Minnesota, was run by the Northern Telephone Company of Minnesota.
This system was much loved by phone phreaks as it was the same system which the now infamous John Draper made famous.

Phone Losers of America

Brad Carter
The Phone Losers of America (PLA) is an internet prank call community founded in 1994 as a phone phreaking and hacking group.

Masters of Deception

MoD
Groups then formed around the BBS hacker/phreaking (H/P) community such as the famous Masters of Deception (Phiber Optik) and Legion of Doom (Erik Bloodaxe) groups.

Social engineering (security)

social engineeringpretextingBlagger
Sympathetic (or easily social-engineered) telephone company employees were persuaded to reveal the various routing codes to use international satellites and trunk lines.
She became heavily involved in phreaking with Kevin Mitnick and Lewis de Payne in Los Angeles, but later framed them for erasing the system files at US Leasing after a falling out, leading to Mitnick's first conviction.

Wawina, Minnesota

Wawina
The last 2600 Hz-controlled trunk in the contiguous United States was operated by the independent Northern Telephone Company with an N2 Carrier system serving Wawina, Minnesota until June 15, 2006, when it was replaced by T1 carrier.
This system was much loved by phone phreaks as it was the same system which the now infamous John Draper made famous.

Hacker

hackinghackerscomputer hacker
He found that the malicious connotations were already present at MIT in 1963 (quoting The Tech, an MIT student newspaper), and at that time referred to unauthorized users of the telephone network, that is, the phreaker movement that developed into the computer security hacker subculture of today.

Novation CAT

APPLE-CATModem IIBNovation APPLE-CAT II
The APPLE-CAT II was popular with phone phreakers for its high half-duplex 1200 bit/s speed and its ability to detect various tones.