Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

A Look Back at One of the Original Phreaks

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the pioneers-of-the-past dept.

Communications 98

tmalone writes "The New York Times is running an end of year piece about the most interesting people who have died this year. One of their picks is Joybubbles, also known as Josef Engressia, or 'Whistler.' He was born blind and discovered at the age of 7 that he could whistle 2600 hertz into a phone to make free long-distance calls. He was one of the original phone phreaks, got arrested for phone fraud, and was even employed by the phone company. The article deals more with his personal life than with his technical exploits, but is a very interesting story."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

"I'm Josef Engressia, Bitch!" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21869584)

He was born blind and discovered at the age of 7 that he could whistle 2600 hertz into a phone to make free long distance calls. He was one of the original phone phreaks, got arrested for phone fraud, and was even employed by the phone company.
I guess that's kind of phreaky. But that's nothing compared to James Ambrose Johnson Jr who was born Catholic and discovered at the age of 17 that he could communicate to white women on the street at 600-800 hertz to take them home for nonconventional sexual intercourse. He was one of the original superphreaks, was arrested on cocaine charges and couch ruination ... and was even played on radio stations around the world at one point in time (many prominent historians claim society today is more like 1880 than 1980)!

and not one link to a source.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21870132)

typical slashdot talk

Re:"I'm Rick James, Bitch!" (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21870304)

Never mind who you thought I was...

Oh and fuck your couch.

Captcha: ballers (hehehe)

For more information and pictures (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21869600)

Please give the kind folks at ContactLog Blog [contactlog.net] a look.

Interesting.... (1)

celardore (844933) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869618)

Seems like that domain has been hihjacked to randomly redirect you to a certain section of that stupid city.

Re:Interesting.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21869668)

How is that possible?

Re:Interesting.... (0, Offtopic)

celardore (844933) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869730)

With PHP probably...

Talking of cities (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21869812)

Re:Interesting.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21871402)

>Seems like that domain has been hihjacked to randomly redirect you to a certain section of that stupid city

Seems like you're so stupid that you can't spell "hijacked".

Moron.

Re:For more information and pictures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21869710)

some of these jerks seem to have a hard time catching on...
the one thing I don't get is this: even if /. has a ton of traffic you just have to know that this is not the spot to go picking fights.

Obligatory (1, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869634)

"You know...the Phantom Phreak...the King of Nynex?"

Hmmm (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21869666)

I googled it [google.com] and actually couldn't find anything. What on earth do you mean?

Re:Hmmm (1)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869842)

more myminicity shit

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21869718)

Is that a reference from that awful hackers movie?

Re:Obligatory (2, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870140)

Indeed it is. And if you suspend any expectation of realism, it's actually a really good movie. Kinda like Die Hard 4...don't look for realism, shoot the voice in your head that says "it's not possible", and just be entertained.

Re:Obligatory (2, Interesting)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870176)

Some people don't get the point of entertainment.

Personally, I liked the movie. Always have. It amuses the heck out of me.

Besides, you have to love Penn getting called a "Hapless techno-weenie" *grin*

Re:Obligatory (2, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870222)

"Dressing in the dark again, Eugene?"

Best line in the whole movie.

Re:Obligatory (1)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870272)

"Once again, don't call me Eugene" :P

You also had to love the dumbing down of what happened to the super tanker training vessel.

"Excuse me?"
"The little boat...flipped...over..."

Re:Obligatory (1)

Faluzeer (583626) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870148)

Yes it came from Hackers. Angelina Jolie more than made up for the deficiencies in the rest of the film ;-)

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21870460)

Are you referring to her "wetware"?
Glad to see some people liked that movie, I was in pain through most of it;-)

get my hopes up (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869640)

I thought it was an article about John Draper (a.k.a Captain Crunch) [wikipedia.org] Then again he used a whistle and didn't just put his lips together and blow... It's sad to hear about it though...

Re:get my hopes up (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21869658)

Weird. Kathleen fent spreads her lips when she blows.

Re:get my hopes up (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21869750)

There was a somber story about the Twilight Years of Cap'n Crunch [slashdot.org] on here not too long ago. I think he was interviewed [slashdot.org] by Slashdot but I can't find his responses article.

Re:get my hopes up (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870934)

Yes, I saw John at the Homebrew Computer Club and the Mac Developers Club.

History of Hacking (3, Informative)

shawn443 (882648) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869650)

I'm sure most geeks here have seen this video. But for those who haven't, History of Hacking [google.com] .

Re:History of Hacking (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21871054)

warning more minicity spam!

Ah this takes me back... (2, Interesting)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869686)

Still have my redbox in a drawer somewhere, probably next to my beige box and attempted homemade autodialer. Also still keep redbox tones on my MP3 players, more for nostalga than practicality since i have a cell phone and they havnt worked in 10 years.

Re:Ah this takes me back... (3, Funny)

ArikTheRed (865776) | more than 6 years ago | (#21871968)

Heck yeah! 1) Radio Shack tone dialer, 2) replace crystal with 6.5mhz, 3) pwn COCOTs. It wasn't until recently I learned that everyone who made one of these had the same problem as me: no one to call.

Re:Ah this takes me back... (2, Interesting)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873794)

British payphones have *always* held track of credit in the payphone itself, rather than relying on the exchange to do it {which is just stupidly vulnerable to attacks}. Metering pulses {common-mode with respect to Earth} were sent down the line from the exchange after each unit. If you tried disconnecting the Earth wire to block the pulses, the phone would just cut you off anyway after a preset timeout, equivalent to one unit at the cheapest rate. Nowadays, payphones are smart enough to know, from the STD code and the time of day, how much to charge for a call and so meter pulses are not required (the facility is even being withdrawn as exchanges are modernised).

The biggest difference between British payphones is how much armour-plating they use. A privately-owned payphone in a hairdresser's salon may well be constructed in lightweight polycarbonate; one in a pub might have a metal coin safe. Street payphones are close to bomb-proof.

Payphones are an endangered species in Britain anyway, now almost everyone has a mobile phone.

Re:Ah this takes me back... (1)

HeadlessNotAHorseman (823040) | more than 6 years ago | (#21878180)

There used to be a trick with some payphones in Australia whereby you could make free calls. When you put the coins in they were temporarily held in a device inside the phone (which also registered the value of each coin). After you connected with another phone the coins would be dropped into the safe at the bottom. When you hit the coin return button, a hinge in the device would open and the coins would drop into the coin return slot (and triggered a switch that told the phone that there was no more credit remaining). The coin return slot was protected by a kind of metal flap. When you poked your fingers into the little bay that the coins were returned to, you would have to push the metal flap inwards and it would subsequently block the other entrance to the coin return bay (ie the entrance by which the coins entered the bay). Now if you took a plastic drinking straw and flattened it, you could poke it into the gap between the top of the coin return bay flap and the phone itself, and then push open the hinge for the temporary coin holder, thus allowing the coins to fall into the return slot, but more importantly not triggering the switch that told the phone that the coins were gone. Once you had done that, you could make free phone calls. Not that I ever did this of course :-P

Re:Ah this takes me back... (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 6 years ago | (#21878560)

Something similar worked with BT payphones ("Blue Payphone 2", aka "Payphone 500"). If you modified the returned coin chute cover slightly {by forcibly pulling the inward-opening door out and removing the inner plate; after which mistreatment the door would open both ways, thus allowing you to reach into places when the door was opened outward which normally would be blocked off when the door was opened inward}, it was possible to knock 20p coins down from their temporary-storage chute -- coins were counted only at insertion, held in separate chutes according to value and routed either to the metal safe under the phone or the return chute, depending how much credit had been used, upon replacing the receiver -- during a call, and reinsert them for extra credit. The modification was invariably short-lived, and BT soon came up with mods of their own to prevent it: first a welded plate further restricting the returned coins aperture, then a new one-piece chute door casting. I don't doubt that a suitable tool could have been crafted to release coins without modifying the door; but I never made one.

Speaking of Freaks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21869720)

Come for a visit to Drunkard Town [myminicity.com] for the most flabbergasting freakishness you've ever witnessed in your life. People passed on in the street, people smoking dope on the police station steps, nude public frivolity of all sorts. We got if you want it.

Also, we now offer free per burros to all visitors. Cast offs from out highly advanced Environmentally Friendly Public Transportation System [myminicity.com] , these burros have several weeks worth of life left in them*. Take one home today and save $2 on your next visit! The $2 also counts as a carbon offset as it will save us having to douse the burro corpse with gasoline to burn it, before dumping the ashes into the ocean.

Also, if you are an original phone phreak, feel free to phreak away at our phone system. It is entirely FOSS** IP telephonery.

Come on down to Drunkard Town [myminicity.com] today!

* no warranty express of implied
** actual phone hardware and software provided by Apple.

You seriously need to get laid. (-1, Flamebait)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870570)

Seriously. No sane person with a healthy sex life would devote that much energy to a lousy scam-game. Go out, join a charity or a club that might potentially have members of the opposite sex, actually meet same, and get down to it. I know playing with your "Drunkard Town" is safer, and tricking people into going there is sort of social (demented and sad, but social) but it is ultimately not fulfilling. You know it, I know it, everyone knows it.

You are stuck in a downward spiral and you want to pull us all in after you. Not gonna happen. The more you obsess over this thing, the more self-loathing you are going to have, and that self loathing is what causes you to obsess over something as utterly dumb as mymincity in the first place. You need to break the cycle and get out into the Big Blue Room a little more often and socialize with some other carbon-units.

You can actually meet people you can talk with face to face. It's possible. Even if you don't get laid, talking with real humans face to face is better than tricking them into looking at your stupid faux-sim-city. And you might even get laid. Go on, try it. I bet you'll be hooking up with decent people and will have forgotten your infantile obsession with mymincity within a month.

Re:You seriously need to get laid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21871082)

We can't all be love revolutionaries...

Re:You seriously need to get laid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21872070)

You've got a low enough UID to probably get Taco's attention. Ask him to send a C&D to these idiots.

Re:You seriously need to get laid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21875846)

Dude, you've got a Slashdot UID in the low 1000's. You're trying to tell a troll, who probably only reads this site when he's bored at work, to 'get a life'. Do you have any idea how desperate you sound? The amount of effort you put into that post is insane...I think someone needs to take some of their own medicine...

No need to get laid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21876982)

If you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself. ;)

interview (5, Interesting)

Kizzle (555439) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869744)

I was involved with an internet radio show a while back that did an excellent interview with him that covered a lot of interesting technical topics. http://audio.textfiles.com/shows/haxorradio/haxor_radio_show_04.mp3 [textfiles.com]

Slight offtopic but there's a guy that just made a graphic novel about the history of phreaking. I'm not sure if Joybubbles is in it but looks neat. http://www.edpiskor.com/wizzy.html [edpiskor.com]

You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? (0)

mpascal (1158165) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869826)

You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and...blow. ...
(Casablanca)

Re:You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? (1)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869996)

(Casablanca)
BZZZZZTTTT!

The correct answer is: To Have and Have Not. (My favorite of the two, actually.)

Re:You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? (1)

FrameRotBlues (1082971) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870684)

Huh. I thought it was from "Honey, I Shrunk The Kids," when they're trying to whistle for Quark.

Re:You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? (1)

TomatoQueen (797058) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870000)

To Have and Have Not, ffs.

Re:You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21879362)

Isn't that pretty much what Jiminy Cricket told Pinocchio?

Re:You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 6 years ago | (#21881316)

Steve Jobs or Steve Wozniak? I forget if they both made blue boxes. :)

There was an exchange on the west fringe of Montreal island where 2600 worked on local calls, for disconnection at least, and it always made me laugh to hang up by whistling the tone. (Had to hunt a bit to nail it.)

NPR on Joybubbles (4, Informative)

dsginter (104154) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869876)

NPR did a bit on Joybubbles [npr.org] (Joe's handle) some months ago.

Very good listen.

Re:NPR on Joybubbles (4, Informative)

Kizzle (555439) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870084)

Actually Joybubbles is not his handle it's his legal name. He had it changed to that.

Re:NPR on Joybubbles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21871252)

Actually Joybubbles is not his handle it's his legal name. He had it changed to that.
Complete bullshit. Wikipedia provides NO source or citation for that. Extremely unlikely.

Re:NPR on Joybubbles (1)

Kizzle (555439) | more than 6 years ago | (#21871634)

He says it himself, listen to the beginning of this interview http://audio.textfiles.com/shows/haxorradio/haxor_radio_show_04.mp3 [textfiles.com] . Relying on Wikipedia like you obviously do is silly.

Re:NPR on Joybubbles (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21871758)

He says it himself
And that makes it "legally clanged"? I'm Jesus Christ. I say so. Worship me.

Re:NPR on Joybubbles (1)

brown-eyed slug (913910) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873722)

Actually it does work like that in the UK. Just choose your new name and start using it. You have to provide evidence for some purposes, like getting a passport, but this isn't a difficult process. http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/index/family_parent/family/change_of_name.htm [adviceguide.org.uk]

Not sure about the United States.

Re:NPR on Joybubbles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21876592)

Good point, but remember, this is NPR, and while they're not perfect, they sure ain't News Corp. If you tell Terri Gross you had your name legally changed and you didn't, you are in for one hell of an interview!

Tears (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21869922)

For some reason that article braught me into tears...

Next to last paragraph (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21870134)

Yep, I teared-up when I got to the part about Dawn Waters

Sneakers? (2, Insightful)

TomHandy (578620) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869932)

Just out of curiosity, is the blind character "Whistler" from "Sneakers" based on him?

Re:Sneakers? (5, Informative)

Albert Sandberg (315235) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870024)

"Whistler is seen eating a box of "Cap'n Crunch". In the 1970s, "Cap'n Crunch" came with a small whistle in the box. A "phone phreaker" called "Captain Crunch" (John Draper) discovered that this whistle could be used to get free phone calls (one of many components in the practice of "phone phreaking", which digital phone switching-systems has made almost totally obsolete). Whistler is patterned after Joe Engressia, a blind telephone expert born with perfect pitch who was one of the original phone phreakers."

It seems like it, taken from the trivia page of sneakers from imdb [imdb.com] .

Talk about... (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#21869976)

"blind faith", that he would be useful as an employee...

"He was one of the original phone phreaks, got arrested for phone fraud, and was even employed by the phone company. The article deals more with his personal life than with his technical exploits, but is a very interesting story.""

Re:Talk about... (2, Interesting)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870306)

It used to be common practice that hackers and phreaks that got caught were given a choice:

Work for us at a good salary or we have you thrown in jail for most of the rest of your life.

It's not really a blind faith issue (decent pun use though). They realized that anyone good enough to figure out how to circumvent their systems could be a useful asset to their company from both a technical and security standpoint provided they could be "domesticated" so to speak.

Now they just tend to go apes**t any time someone exploits one of their systems and scream "lock them away for ever and ever!!!111" It's a shame to see them go downhill like that.

Re:Talk about... (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#21871484)

Has it occurred to you that maybe the "Get them to work for US" experiments didn't work out as well as they'd hoped?

Re:Talk about... (2, Insightful)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 6 years ago | (#21871628)

Has it occurred to you that maybe the "Get them to work for US" experiments didn't work out as well as they'd hoped?

In some cases, I'm sure they still had problems. However, as a couple of anecdotal data points, I've known a couple of people that were busted back in the early-mid nineties and given that choice. They both worked out quite well.

A lot of it, I think, comes down to why they were doing it - exploration and learning vs trying to defraud, etc.

Re:Talk about... (2, Insightful)

icegreentea (974342) | more than 6 years ago | (#21872020)

I think the ultimate examples of that worked fabulously well. It got you guys to space and then the moon.

Re:Talk about... (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#21872502)

Yeah, but those guys didn't manipulate rockets to attack people. They wanted to build rockets, and the only people buying rockets wanted to attack other people.

After the war we paid them to build even bigger rockets, for pretty much the same purpose, except we wisely realized we could showcase our precision guidance and heavy-lift capability with a seemingly innocuous exploration and science mission.

Phone phreakers didn't necessarily know enough about the phone system to actually create anything.

The Mentor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21870078)

Anybody know what happened to The Mentor? (the Phrack magazine guru)

Re:The Mentor (4, Interesting)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870330)

Anybody know what happened to The Mentor? (the Phrack magazine guru)

Here's his site [blankenship.com] according to his wikipedia article [wikipedia.org]

Re:The Mentor (1)

mkro (644055) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874272)

"What is someone who makes furniture with an axe, Alex."

I called him in 1984 (4, Interesting)

Christoph (17845) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870098)

When I was about 14, the Minneapolis City Pages did a story on him. The story said he was listed as "Zxzyx" in the Minneapolis phone book (so that he was guaranteed the last spot) and anyone could call him anytime. I looked in the phone book, and the listing was there, and I called. I was impressed that he had the guts to live completely out in the open (and it worked for him, too).

Re:I called him in 1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21871710)

There's a liquor store in town here that's got it's guaranteed first listing in the yellow pages -- Aaajaxxx.

Fifth in a few days... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21870120)

Please stop rehashing NYT articles.

An interesting article, and very touching. (0, Flamebait)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870136)

No not in that way... You sick slashdot weirdos. God everytime someone says touch, it doesn't have to have anything to do w/ privates....

In all seriousness. Here was a guy completely in Stasis opposed to the idea of growing up. It's a great idea. I think I'll give some of his old broadcasts up.

P.S. I am looking for a way to tactilly replicate water on a touch feedback device. Anyone know of such a thing?

Re:An interesting article, and very touching. (1)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898768)

replace give w/ hit. Why is this flamebait?

So the guy was a comlete loon. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21870230)

Acted like a child, thought he was a child, had imaginary friends and an imaginary mother, created his own religion, etc, etc. Sounds like a complete crackpot to me.

Why is this even news? Though it is better than hearing about Brittany or Bradgelina, but it's no different, just for geeks instead of white trash.

Cheep (0, Offtopic)

simtricknon (1210576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870522)

Kerchunk

Phreaks (2, Interesting)

conureman (748753) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870866)

I fondly remember the olden days,(when I was a kid), and Herbert Schwartz showing me the lineman's phones that he'd socially engineered from some Bell Telephone guys. Herbie had a junction box in his back yard there in Livermore, so he could hook on and call his friends in Vienna. By not hooking on to the (correct) lines, nobody got billed for the calls. Way cool. This was back before touch-tone dialing, and it was a while before any sort of security or blocking was instituted anyway, so it was hardly phreaking. Knowing Herbert, he was still the first kid in town with the blue box or whatever. Wonder where he is these days.

You know you're a child of the 80s... (1)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 6 years ago | (#21871524)

when you imagine the above post read in Jean Shepard's voice ala A Christmas Story.

Re:You know you're a child of the 80s... (2, Funny)

ArikTheRed (865776) | more than 6 years ago | (#21872002)

I want a Red Ryder Tonal Action 2600Hz Range Model Blue-Box... with a compass in the stock.

Re:Phreaks (4, Interesting)

Viceroy Potatohead (954845) | more than 6 years ago | (#21872140)

For some strange reason, this article also made me feel all nostalgic.

Eh Tee Dee Tee
Eh Tee Eff Oh
Eh Tee Ate Six Seven Five Three Oh Nine
[Limbers up whistling muscles]...hWooooooooooooooooooooooofhhhhhhhhhoooooooooooooooooo.
Good Evening Cowboy Neil, sending updates to the porn landscape of the Internet to your system. (Please Wait...)
Eh Tee Aitch Oh
[No Carrier]

Yup, I've still got it! (Actually, I don't remember modem codes at all, so I've undoubtedly got them wrong...)

Seriously, though, it's amazing what telephone technology has done in the last quarter century. I went from a party line (we were two long, one short) to dial phones that you could actually figure out some weird hacks by semi-intelligently flapping away at the hook (or more likely getting a call from a pissed off operator), to carrying something around that's smaller than a wallet which gives you the ability to create video and pictures, play games, do arithmetic, save or generate text, talk to almost anybody on the planet without explaining yourself to some telephone company employee, save an audio message, record an audio message, and a hundred other things. And not only that, it's not screwed to the wall. Really, the achievements in telephony have been pretty remarkable. I wonder what the modern Joybubbles is up to....

The whole nine yards (Almost) (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21870928)

I remember those days I had (have) the whole set of tones, except shaw (#) and star (*). I obtained them from a person who worked at AT&T in the last 60's. The shaw & star weren't in use yet and he couldn't get them.

In the day this was hot information, technology to separate was hard to come by. Some people could tell the different tones by listening.

What did I use them for? That would be none of your business.

All in hertz

Disconnect 2600

Key Punch 1100 & 1700 (I don't remember what this does)

Key pad numbers:
1 700 & 900
2 700 & 1100
3 900 & 1100
4 700 & 1300
5 900 & 1300
6 1100 & 1300
7 700 & 1500
8 900 & 1500
9 1100 & 1500
0 1300 & 1500

Start 1500 & 1700 (had something to do with getting the equipment to accept the numbers).

BTW you see that I've posted as Anonymous Coward, don't wast your mod points

Re:The whole nine yards (Almost) (3, Informative)

MasterOfMagic (151058) | more than 6 years ago | (#21871684)

KP and ST were needed for sentinel values due to the in-band signaling nature of the old MF long distance system. KP1 is not key punch, but key pulse. You send it after a supervision wink before you enter routing codes or destination numbers. Very important if you wanted to get into the art of tandem stacking or if you wanted to do anything with a bluebox at all. After putting in the routing codes or destination number, you would send ST.

There were two KPs, KP1 and KP2. KP1 was used for making domestic calls. KP2 was for international calls.

do believe they were there... (2, Interesting)

swschrad (312009) | more than 6 years ago | (#21871782)

but the only use for them was in controlling routing in setting up LD calls. they were on the operator consoles in the mid 60s when I got a tour through NW Bell. looked like ITW lighted buttons. at that time, they were not published in the bell telephone engineering standards pubs that were in places like engineering school libraries.

Re:The whole nine yards (Almost) (2, Insightful)

neapolitan (1100101) | more than 6 years ago | (#21871884)

I think your tones are off. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DTMF [slashdot.org]

It was never that really hot information... There were commercially available wristwatches that would dial the phone for you by holding it up to the phone, etc.

As a prank, when I was in grade school, circa 1990, a friend and I made a BASIC program on our school IBM's that would give a fake login screen that would "allow" you via simple commands to "dial FBI" completely with realistic "modem" dialtone and carrier tones. It would be hilarious to watch some of the other students get so excited to type "help", then a few silly commands, and finally "DIAL FBI" and get carried away to see an ASCII art warning screen we drew up. The best thing was, after they "logged in" they would get dropped, and never tell the teachers what was going on because of their "illegal" activity. Those sneaky kids!

I forgot where we got the tone listing, but I think it was in a book in the school library. It was amazingly realistic when played on the speaker.

As for whistling to dial, it is a myth as far as I know. A person can whistle 2600; it is not that hard. I hate how mythical powers get embodied to people that exploited lame design and in band signaling by the phone companies. To whistle to dial is impossible, because multiple tones are required.

Re:The whole nine yards (Almost) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21872586)

It was never that really hot information... There were commercially available wristwatches that would dial the phone for you by holding it up to the phone, etc.

The first digital watches came out in 1970 a year before the captain crunch whistle. I obtained this information in 1969.

Three other methods used in the 60's where:

On a dial pay phone a wire was used to short the microphone in the mouth piece to the case of the phone. After shorting the phone one could dial it using the hangup switch as a pulse device (rotary phones only).

On rotary pay phones with an external bell, in a small box under the metal writing table, a 1200 ohm resistor from the red to the green wires (I'm pretty sure) turned the phone into a standard, non-pay, phone, a very little known fact. To make things really easy, the screw on the bell box could be unscrewed with a dime.

Fake phone company credit card numbers where very big, and easy to use.

Re:The whole nine yards (Almost) (1)

Your Pal Dave (33229) | more than 6 years ago | (#21879682)

The tones which the GP cited were the in-band signaling tones sent between exchanges, and were the tones used by blue boxes. These are different than those used by a DTMF dialer. IIRC, the way blue boxing worked was:
  1. Dial up a toll-free number - this gets you on the trunk
  2. Generate 2600 hz tone - the foreign exchange hears this and thinks you've disconnected so it disconnects the toll-free number, but the local exchange leaves you connected to the trunk
  3. Use blue box to generate routing tones for new destination

Re:The whole nine yards (Almost) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21881264)

Ahh, thank you for pointing that out -- I did not know they were different.

Anyway, I still think that the whole blue boxing thing is remarkably unsophisticated, exploiting some really dumb decisions made by the telecom companies (in band signaling with simple tone modulation.) Today a simple exploit like that would be discovered, and disseminated, within a few hours, and everybody would laugh at the company that came up with such a scheme. It was a different era back then...

Poor Ol' Joe (5, Interesting)

drwho (4190) | more than 6 years ago | (#21871850)

I used to regularly phreak calls to Joe in the mid 80s. I remember he had a phone number that ended in either 0000 or 9999, I can't remember which. Anyhow, this guy was cool. He just loved phones, and talking about phones. I remember he used to be able to tell what kind of switch a phone was on by calling it and listening to it ring. He used to be able to do pretty much everything with the phone system, but was against the people like Steve Jobs who made and sold blue boxes for a profit. We used to call Joe on Alliance Teleconferences (us being $LOD$ and friends) and we had a lot of fun. But then, some cranks (I think it might have been MOD) got his number and started harassing him. He went underground to avoid them and I lost all touch with him.

He was a great guy. I don't know how well he fared once the phone system went digital, but he was someone who made the best out of what life took from him, and what life gave him. That is, his sight was taken but his tone sensitivity was extreme.

Phone phreaking is a lost art -- an analog art, made of electronics and geeky passion. It was damaged by criminals out for nothing more than free calls, but ultimately destroyed by SS7.

I've had the idea to use all this wondrous DSP technology and massive amounts of CPU power and storage to recreate the phone network circa 1982 - a phreaker's version, as close to the real thing as possible, where you'd use a blue box to get around, and find loops, etc. Think of it as an audio adventure game. I don't have the DSP talent to make it happen though. But if I ever could get it done, I would dedicate it to the memory of Joe Engressia.

Re:Poor Ol' Joe (2, Informative)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 6 years ago | (#21872242)


I've had the idea to use all this wondrous DSP technology and massive amounts of CPU power and storage to recreate the phone network circa 1982 - a phreaker's version, as close to the real thing as possible, where you'd use a blue box to get around, and find loops, etc. Think of it as an audio adventure game. I don't have the DSP talent to make it happen though.

It doesn't sound all that difficult. You wouldn't really need to know anything about DSPs, just take some code from Asterisk, or another free PBX software to detect DTMF. Build some infra-structure around it, and make your game.

Re:Poor Ol' Joe (1)

fat_mike (71855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21872964)

Voted 5 for being informative.

"Yeah dude, just take this stuff but I can't give you any specifics 'cause I'm a hacking fool and just get your DSP's from Asterisk and PBX that shit."

Do you have any idea what you're talking about? You kids, you scare me and keep me buying MRE's.

Re:Poor Ol' Joe (1)

Darth Cider (320236) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873648)

Thank you for staying cool.

Re:Poor Ol' Joe (4, Interesting)

anticypher (48312) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875536)

I used to talk with Joe from time to time back in the mid-'70s and early '80s, I was introduced to him by Draper. Everything I learned about R2 signaling I got from Joe and the other Phreaks on the loops and conferences and by building my own boxes. That knowledge still serves me well, on projects in Africa where R2 is still widely used. Joe always gave without expecting anything in return, and his largess influenced many who started the open source movement.

SS7 was an absolute necessity, the old inband signaling system was very expensive, too slow to deal with traffic growth, and too exploitable. Now, there is a whole new generation of Phreaks manipulating the SS7 system with relative impunity and ease. You have been reading about the very public exploits of the destructive and immature ones. They insert false info into remote PSAPs (e911 systems) and social engineer an armed SWAT response to a distant victim's house. For the little bit you hear about in the press, there is a large amount going on quietly unseen even to the /. crowd. Last night I got several impossible calls and SMS text messages, from some Phreaks who knew just how to inject the right info. Either that, or GW Bush sent me a New Years greeting from the whitehouse, Putin sent me greetings in Russian from the Kremlin, and the Pope sent greetings from the Vatican switchboard.

Someday, when the rest of us around Joe's age have passed to greener pastures, the current /. crowd will be reminiscing about the old SS7 exploit crews, and the clever hacks they coded up. Ahh, the good old days when the internet was neutral and still ran IPv4 and websites were popular :-)

the AC

Re:Poor Ol' Joe (1)

drwho (4190) | more than 6 years ago | (#21886888)

Anticypher: Hey good to know that phreaking lives on. I know it's possible to fake caller ID, but I guess the rest of that SS7 hackery has passed me by.

Oh, to the fellow who suggest Asterisk - you're wrong on so many counts. First of all, you need to know that DTMF is not MF. Second of all, it was the BUGS in the ole' phone system which made it interesting, and these aren't going to be duplicated in Asterix. We'd have to re-implement them, and that is a lot of DSP work. It's not just about building a phone system, it's about replicating the old one.

Re:Poor Ol' Joe (1)

dfroula (1215844) | more than 6 years ago | (#21965218)

I've created pretty much what you are suggesting at 630-485-2995. Check out this link for details: http://www.binrev.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=31224&st=0&start=0 [binrev.com] My system recreates a switch with a blue boxable trunk group of 24 trunks controlled by 2600 Hz SF and MF digit addressing. You can seize a ringing call with 2600, get the kercheep wink, then dial with a blue box or program to internal recordings, test lines, the PSTN, and the telephone switch collectors network - real mechanical switches all over the world. Perfectly legal. Its all via VOIP on a private switch. Don

Re:Poor Ol' Joe (1)

dfroula (1215844) | more than 6 years ago | (#21967402)

I've been running a systen for some time that allows using a blue box, pretty much like the old days of phreaking. Joe tried it a few times.

More info and a simple Windows blue box program is at:

http://www.binrev.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=31224 [binrev.com]

Some of the info reproduced below:

Check out www.projectmf.com. Phiber created software patches to allow Asterisk PBX software running on a Linux PC to simulate the old 2600 and MF (multifrequency) controlled network of the 50's-60's-70's.

Remember the Esquire article?

I have a projectmf server up on 630-485-2995. It has instructions for using it when you dial in.

Access is also available via:

CNET: 1-762-2600/2601 (see www.ckts.info for gateway numbers)
Free World Dialup: 862548
Asterisk direct connection: exten => 2600,1,Dial(IAX2/cnetguest@projectmf.homelinux.com/17622600)

Note that you need a source of 2600 Hz tone and an MF dialer (NOT a regular DTMF (Touch-Tone) dialer to make ANY use of this at all.

Perfectly legal, as the system is totally private. This is more than a simulation. The call is going over a trunk group of 24 SF/MF trunks, although both sides of the trunks are terminated on the same PC. The hardware is two extra dedicated NIC cards on the PC running T1 over Ethernet over a loopback Ethernet cable. Your incoming call gets looped over one of the 24 trunks before terminating over VOIP, so you have 2600 and MF control.

Use a short burst of 2600, wait for the wink acknowledgement, followed by the MF digits. The 2600 Hz tone must be played at a somewhat higher level than the MF digits.

The system will read back the digits it hears if you dial incorrectly. Play around with volume levels, especially if just holding the PC speaker up to the phone. The MF tones do not need to be excessively loud.

You can divert a call through the box if you can generate the 2600 and MF. Just dial 2600, KP, a 10-digit phone number (no leading "1"), and ST. Experiment on the test numbers to get the levels right first.

Need a software Blue Box to use with this? Try the attached Windows application (at the end of this message). You need Microsoft .NET framework installed for it to work. You can use the number keys on the right side of your keyboard (if you use a full-size keyboard) as an almost-real Blue Box, as well as the point and click method!

Some numbers to try:

2600 KP + 101 + ST "Weasels" recording
2600 KP + 102 + ST "Monkeys" recording
2600 KP + 103 + ST "Moo 1" recording
2600 KP + 104 + ST "Moron" recording
2600 KP + 105 + ST "Moo 2" recording
2600 KP + 106 + ST "Something wrong" recording
2600 KP + 107 + ST "Made it up" recording
2600 KP + 108 + ST "I'm bored" recording
2600 KP + 109 + ST "Don't understand" recording
2600 KP + 110 + ST "Step in stream" recording
2600 KP + 111 + ST "ProjectMF" presentation recording (exit with DTMF "0")
2600 KP + 112 + ST "Classic Tandem Stacking" recording - Evan Doorbell (exit with DTMF "0")
2600 KP + 113 + ST "Evan Doorbell juices off N1 and phreaks around. Part 1 (exit with DTMF "0")
2600 KP + 114 + ST "Evan Doorbell juices off N1 and phreaks around. Part 2 (exit with DTMF "0")
2600 KP + 115 + ST "Evan Doorbell investigates 1xx and 0xx codes (exit with DTMF "0")
2600 KP + 116 through 120 and 122 + ST "How Evan Doorbell Became a Phone Phreak, parts 1-6"
2600 KP + 600 + ST Asterisk echo test
2600 KP + 121 + ST "Operator" - Leave message if no answer
2600 KP + 123 + ST Joybubbles (Joe Engressia) 1991 Off the Hook Interview, Part 1
2600 KP + 124 + ST Joybubbles (Joe Engressia) 1991 Off the Hook Interview, Part 2
2600 KP + 161 + ST Record a comment
2600 KP + 171 + ST Playback comments. 0 to exit, * and # to skip backward and forward
2600 KP + 199 + ST 2600 Hz supervision test
2600 KP + xxx-xxx-xxxx + ST Outdial to phone network
2600 KP + 011 + country code + number + ST Collectors Net Access (www.ckts.info)
2600 KP + 2111 + ST Conference bridge. Please hang up with "#" when done.
2600 KP + 777 + ST Direct access to Telephreak
2600 KP + 2602 + ST DISA dialtone. Can use DTMF to dial. Stack with repeated 2602.

Re:Poor Ol' Joe (1)

drwho (4190) | more than 6 years ago | (#21975442)

Thanks dfroula! I'll be sure to give it a try! (but I don't have .net)

I speak modem (5, Interesting)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21871966)

and discovered at the age of 7 that he could whistle 2600 hertz into a phone to make free long-distance calls.

I had to actually do something like this with phone modems for testing purposes. We had a bank of modems and to check which modem went to which phone number (people sometimes switched them without telling us) we would have to call the number on a voice phone across the way and then run over to the modem bank to see which lights were on.

Often the modem lights wouldn't stay on long enough from a mere phone call. Rather than run fast and risky in a crowded, wiry data center, I discovered that if I whistled certain frequencies mirroring the connect sound, the modem would think I was another modem and spend a longer time trying to connect. Thus, by learning to speak modemese, I could walk instead of run.
       

Re:I speak modem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21879668)

When I was in Goa India in 1999, I had to use that exact same method to help VSNL (Can you say government owned ISP?) locate a problem of why their dialup modem lines were always busy.

I was in Goa designing some web sites for the Indian Tourist venues and learned that they had a E1 (2mb line) to Mumbai, which was something like 128 modem lines. They have over 400 Internet Cafe's then, NO DSL or broadband service, but 64 of these modems had the parity bit set wrong, and when using dialup, you have to first acquire a shell connection, type "PPP" to get PPP access. Very primitive at best.

Anyway, I had the opportunity to visit them, and wound up fixing their system... it doubled their capacity.... as most phone access lines are busy (engaged).

Sometimes the simplest approach is always the best.

Anonymous

The Spirit of the True Hacker (1)

jbordall (620303) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874966)

Kudos for the New York Times, that ol' Grey Lady, for publishing such a moving obit. I think we should all recognize the man's genius, that spark which inhabits all hackers: that love of intricate systems, which beckon us to explore hidden worlds, affect their behavior, prodding, probing, and extending ourselves, eventually injecting ourselves into the system. We modern techies take for granted such intimacy with today's technology: truly, Ma Bell was Joe's real mother. Whatever you're hacking, in whatever medium, whether electronic or mechanical, analog or digital, we can all gather inspiration from Joe's skills and accomplishments (and those of other phreakers "back in the day"). Joe, God bless and rest in peace.

End of an Era (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 6 years ago | (#21876102)

Phone Phreaking is something that's never, ever going to be possible again. All modern systems are using out-of-band signalling; so playing various tones down the line is approximately as effective as shining lines down the coin slot of a payphone.

You can do some kinds of interesting things with an ISDN line, because you have access to the D-channel which is the actual, real, live out-of-band signalling channel; but they're still limited, because the exchange is acting as a man-in-the-middle and knows when you are taking the mick. For instance, you can send your own caller ID as part of the call-setup message; but it has to be a number that the phone company recognise as belonging to you, otherwise the exchange will just change it to "withheld" (or refuse to connect the call).

There are always new avenues, though. Hacking is driven by one of the same primitive instincts that fetched us down from the trees, and that instinct will always find a way to manifest itself.

Blue boxing simulator (1)

dfroula (1215844) | more than 6 years ago | (#21968312)

Sorry for the duplicate information. Just getting used to the forums here....

More info may be found at:

http://www.binrev.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=31224&st=0&start=0 [binrev.com]

There is also a simple Windows blue box program at the link to try this with.

Enjoy!

Don

==============

Check out www.projectmf.com. Phiber created software patches to allow Asterisk PBX software running on a Linux PC to simulate the old 2600 and MF (multifrequency) controlled network of the 50's-60's-70's.

Remember the Esquire article?

I have a projectmf server up on 630-485-2995. It has instructions for using it when you dial in.

Access is also available via:

CNET: 1-762-2600/2601 (see www.ckts.info for gateway numbers)
Free World Dialup: 862548
Asterisk direct connection: exten => 2600,1,Dial(IAX2/cnetguest@projectmf.homelinux.com/17622600)

Note that you need a source of 2600 Hz tone and an MF dialer (NOT a regular DTMF (Touch-Tone) dialer to make ANY use of this at all.

Perfectly legal, as the system is totally private. This is more than a simulation. The call is going over a trunk group of 24 SF/MF trunks, although both sides of the trunks are terminated on the same PC. The hardware is two extra dedicated NIC cards on the PC running T1 over Ethernet over a loopback Ethernet cable. Your incoming call gets looped over one of the 24 trunks before terminating over VOIP, so you have 2600 and MF control.

Use a short burst of 2600, wait for the wink acknowledgement, followed by the MF digits. The 2600 Hz tone must be played at a somewhat higher level than the MF digits.

The system will read back the digits it hears if you dial incorrectly. Play around with volume levels, especially if just holding the PC speaker up to the phone. The MF tones do not need to be excessively loud.

You can divert a call through the box if you can generate the 2600 and MF. Just dial 2600, KP, a 10-digit phone number (no leading "1"), and ST. Experiment on the test numbers to get the levels right first.

Need a software Blue Box to use with this? Try the attached Windows application (at the end of this message). You need Microsoft .NET framework installed for it to work. You can use the number keys on the right side of your keyboard (if you use a full-size keyboard) as an almost-real Blue Box, as well as the point and click method!

Some numbers to try:

2600 KP + 101 + ST "Weasels" recording
2600 KP + 102 + ST "Monkeys" recording
2600 KP + 103 + ST "Moo 1" recording
2600 KP + 104 + ST "Moron" recording
2600 KP + 105 + ST "Moo 2" recording
2600 KP + 106 + ST "Something wrong" recording
2600 KP + 107 + ST "Made it up" recording
2600 KP + 108 + ST "I'm bored" recording
2600 KP + 109 + ST "Don't understand" recording
2600 KP + 110 + ST "Step in stream" recording
2600 KP + 111 + ST "ProjectMF" presentation recording (exit with DTMF "0")
2600 KP + 112 + ST "Classic Tandem Stacking" recording - Evan Doorbell (exit with DTMF "0")
2600 KP + 113 + ST "Evan Doorbell juices off N1 and phreaks around. Part 1 (exit with DTMF "0")
2600 KP + 114 + ST "Evan Doorbell juices off N1 and phreaks around. Part 2 (exit with DTMF "0")
2600 KP + 115 + ST "Evan Doorbell investigates 1xx and 0xx codes (exit with DTMF "0")
2600 KP + 116 through 120 and 122 + ST "How Evan Doorbell Became a Phone Phreak, parts 1-6"
2600 KP + 600 + ST Asterisk echo test
2600 KP + 121 + ST "Operator" - Leave message if no answer
2600 KP + 123 + ST Joybubbles (Joe Engressia) 1991 Off the Hook Interview, Part 1
2600 KP + 124 + ST Joybubbles (Joe Engressia) 1991 Off the Hook Interview, Part 2
2600 KP + 161 + ST Record a comment
2600 KP + 171 + ST Playback comments. 0 to exit, * and # to skip backward and forward
2600 KP + 199 + ST 2600 Hz supervision test
2600 KP + xxx-xxx-xxxx + ST Outdial to phone network
2600 KP + 011 + country code + number + ST Collectors Net Access (www.ckts.info)
2600 KP + 2111 + ST Conference bridge. Please hang up with "#" when done.
2600 KP + 777 + ST Direct access to Telephreak
2600 KP + 2602 + ST DISA dialtone. Can use DTMF to dial. Stack with repeated 2602.
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?