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HellBound Hackers | Computer General | Phreaking


Information Regarding Modern Phone Phreaking


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Joined: 01.01.70
Posted on 04-07-06 08:09

A few words regarding modern day phone phreaking, since there seems to be a lot of confusion and bias regarding it. Phone phreaking is still very possible, despite what "they" tell you.

The supposed last trunk to utilize MF signaling here in the US was replaced on June 15th, 2006. It was a N2 carrier. The exchange was (218)-488, which is in Wawina. I wasn't able try it out my self, since by the time I became aware of it it was too late, but I hear the amount of MFing into that trunk that occurred got so heavy that it started causing problems for that exchange.

I can tell you from experience that there are still so many neat little "tricks" you can play with in our phone system here in the US. It isn't nearly as dead as most people claim it to be. As technology changes, so do exploits. As long as you respect them and don't abuse them to a point where the telephone companies are getting mad, I don't think they will fade away that fast.

It's quite an amazing thing, really. All the little clicks. All the sounds. The unknown sounds intrigue the hacker mind. Just something about those analog sounds...

As for the future? I'm thinking voIP will probably get really big. But so what? That will bring a whole new era of phone phreaking, just you wait. Those of you who haven't had the chance to blue box or try anything cool, don't be disappointed. There are still so many things to explore.

Quoted from an article in my zine;

"A few definitions you may want to know:

Someone who enjoys exploring the telephone system. Just because someone knows how to cheat the system and place a free call doesn't make them a phone phreak.

TNI stands for "telephone network interface". Think of an NIC, if you know what that is. The TNI is the box (usually outside of the house, if it's residential) that is the 'base' for the connection inside the building. It's basically where you wire your phones from through out the building. The other end connects to the nearby telephone lines, and thus gives you service.

Not to repeat the obvious, but the format of a phone number here in the US is; 1+NPA+NXX+XXXX. The NPA is the area code, the NXX is the exchange, and the XXXX is the last four digits of the NANP 7-digit local telephone number.

The public switched telephone network. The public telephone system. This includes trunks, switches, phones, and other telephony equipment.

Automatic number identification, which is a telco service that identifies the person calling. This isn't to be confused with caller ID, which is the more “public” version of ANI.

This is a feature that displays the telephone number and sometimes the caller's name of the incoming call. Some service providers charge money for this feature.

This is a telephone number you can call up and it will repeat the number from which you called from. Use your imagination to decide what this can be useful for.

This involves more recent form of phone phreaking. Modems are usually hooked up to a computer so that you can dial into (or out, of course) it. The security of the system all depends on the service running that is awaiting remote connections. Generally, you usually will need to login. You can discover these by war dialing a certain range.

COCOT stands for "customer owned coin operated telephone". As you may be able to already tell, it is basically a privately owned pay phone. You can dial an ANAC and get the number for the COCOT. You can then try to dial in to it's modem and see what kind of information is returned.

Loopbacks are usually on +1-NPA-NXX-XXX0 and +1-NPA-NXX-XXX1. When two people are connected to both of these two at the same time, they can talk to each other. These days, however, most of them are voice filtered.

Not much to say about this. It's simply a 1004Hz tone that loops. It's there for testing purposes.

This is always fun to do, and very interesting if you discover something cool. You simply scan a range of telephone numbers (usually automated, though you can definitely do it manually) and see what you can find. There are all sorts of telephone numbers out there that you probably aren't even aware of. Milliwatts, test numbers, "back doors", dynamic messages ( ie; "Today's test color is [color]. The time is [time]. Current status is [on/off]." ), teleconference bridges, private telco numbers, PBXs, and much more.

It is still 100% possible. I've seen people say it isn't, which is incredibly ignorant. The reason? As you may be able to tell, the entire idea of beige boxing is exploiting not the telephone network, but the physical security of a business or residential home. No matter what the telephone companies do, beige boxing will always exist. The least they can do is encourage their customers to protect their TNI boxes. his can be done by keeping them inside or putting a lock on them to prevent unauthorized tampering.

This little box emits tones that trick the operator into believing that you have deposited coins. I don't know too much about where and when this works these days, but I believe that with certain pay phones it still does work (preferably older pay phones). I know in the US is it sort of rare for red boxing to work, not too sure about other parts of the world though.

Ah, my favorite type of boxing! There are still many places in the world that are running older telephony equipment that doesn't utilize something called CCIS (out of band signaling), despite what you may hear. I can ramble on about this forever, I think it is insanely interesting. Older (analog) equipment doesn't make use of two completly different channels (one to communicate with other equipment (private) and the other to listen for voice (public)) like newer equipment does. So you can basically "talk" to the trunk and make it seem like you are an operator, since your voice travels on the same channel. You can MF the trunk, play certain pairs of sound frequencies and you'll manually override control over it. You can then do basically anything an operator can do! The sounds of the old analog systems are amazing to hear.

This box is useful for spoofing your caller ID. However, it is generally very flawed. You are basically fooling the other person's caller ID and changing it to something else. When you place a call, you have no control over information regarding the origin of the call from being sent. So no matter what you do, the person is going to see your caller ID at the beginning of the call (unless, of course, you make use of the LASS code *67). What an orange box does is basically send information again to "overwrite" (though if logged, the original phone number will still be there!) the previous data sent unwillingly.

I've only explained a few things to get you started. There are still so many tricks that you can play around with in our phone system. Many people claim that phone phreaking is dead, but I think that's ignorance. I live in the US and I am still able to do a lot of things many claim to be impossible or dead. I'm sick of hearing that it's impossible; it isn't."

Feel free to quote or destribute this article as long as credit is given. Also, if anyone has any questions or comments feel free to leave a message on my VMB.

edit: Just to say a few last things, since I know for a fact that they are going to be asked. To this day, I can still make use of every single main box. Beige, red, orange and yes, even blue.

edit: This was sort of an old article I wrote. I don't agree 100% with everything I posted, but I think you get the idea. Blue boxing no longer has any practical use these days in a sense, but it's still a lot of fun I suppose.

Edited by on 07-07-06 19:55

RE: Information Regarding Modern Phone Phreaking


Posts: 144
Location: edge of existence...
Joined: 16.10.06
Posted on 29-12-06 03:49 phreaking is not dead, it has just changed and alot of the older phreaks have either gotten out of the game or moved on to other areas. The best thing to do if you are an aspiring phreak, SCAN! Grab your phone, pick an exchange in your area and just start punching numbers. You'll be very amazed at the cool things you can find just by checking out the numbers in your local prefix. Get yourself a small "reporter's" notebook and jot down the strange numbers your find to revisit when you're finished.

Another thing you can do...find yourself one of these small CLEC's in smaller towns. There is one nearby my city that still uses analog systems for all of it's in-network routing...most of the old tricks of phreaking still work in that backwater town.

And to all aspiring phreaks out there....knowing how to opt-divert doesn't make you leet! Pfft
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