Modern Day Phreaking

edited December 2013 in Tech & Games
I know a lot of the stuff I've read about is terribly outdated now, and just listening to Kevin Mitnick talking about his life on the PaulDotCom podcast gave me this feeling of "damn, those sounded like the good old days", but is phreaking still about? Can you still hack phone systems, and how?

I'd imagine most of the stuff is obsolete now thanks to new technologies, but hey - if a technology exists, it's hackable. So, can someone tell me about modern day phreaking?

Oh, and I'm not talking about News of the World type phone hacking. I'm on about the real deal, Kevin Mitnick style :D


  • DaktologistDaktologist Global Moderator
    edited November 2011
    I guess there are some phreaking methods that still work. I know that free long distance is now impossible since the beginning of the T1/E1 carrier. Back in the day signalling was done via the voice circuit hence the reason for 2600 Hz generators and blue boxing. Even red boxing (coin emulator for payphones) I doubt still works due to most phones needing a card to use.

    Beige boxing won't die in any hurry though (modified phone handset). I am compiling data on the NZ phone system to test some old school phreaking methods. The phreaking era sounds like it would have been awesome.

    The different phreaking boxes are

    * Beige box: Modified phone with alligator clips to connect to the wiring (Still works)
    * Red box: Emulates the tones used to signal what coins have been inserted into a payphone (Doubt it still works)
    * Blue box: Emulates the tones used to set up long distance calls so you get free calling (No longer works)
    * Orange box: spoofs the caller ID service (Still works)
    * Magenta box: Emulates the A.C ringing signal that makes the phone ring (Still works)
    * Silver box: emulates the DTMF tones for the ABCD keys on a phone (unsure if it works)
    * Green box: emulates the coin return tone on a payphone (Doubt it still works)
    * Gold box: Joins two lines together so you can use someone elses line from your own or another persons. (May still work)
    * Clear box: inductively bypasses the microphone mute on some payphones allowing the red box or green box to work (Doubt it still works)
    * Black box: Makes the phone appear on hook so that you don't get charged for calls (Doubt it still works)
    * Vermilion box: Phone line emulator for making prank calls. User disconnects the person from the network and connects it to this box and makes completely untraceable calls to the persons phone (Still works)
  • edited November 2011
    It's good to see that a few methods are still in place, even in today's age. I remember reading about phreaking in the Anarchist Cookbook when I was about 14 years old - got me really curious and interested in the workings of Kevin Mitnick. Some of his stories are just pure brilliance, you should check them out on Youtube if you have a spare few minutes.
  • DaktologistDaktologist Global Moderator
    edited November 2011
    trx100 wrote: »
    you should check them out on Youtube if you have a spare few minutes.

    Will do. I built a magenta box (phone ringing signal generator) last night, Could also be used as a weapon on night ops as it gives a painful electric shock if you touch the output terminals. I am going to test the black box idea to see if it works in this modern age.
  • PsychlonicPsychlonic Regular
    edited November 2011
    I need to find myself a new handset for a beigebox, I had a cheap one kicking around for the longest time I'd use but it's starting to take a major shit on me. Although I do like it, maybe I can try to repair it. It's small and has a silent clicking ring with no lights anywhere on it. I can confirm that these still work even with the new fiberoptic cables coming on, it's the same shit at the telephone box - there are still terminals and copper to connect to. These open standard in my area with a hex bit with the center drilled out - there's a post in the center of the screw. Sometimes there's enough slack to open it even without the hollow centered bit, they don't use this to really lock the box and it's often not on there too tight.

    The black box doesn't even make sense to me. As far as I know land line phone plans have a flat rate with unlimited calling and collect calls would bill you anyways if you verbally accepted the call. Can anyone clarify the use of this?
  • spazzyspazzy Regular
    edited December 2013
    Yea i was alwase facinated by phreaking, we have oooold school phone systems where i live...... Hmmmmmmm
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