OT stories about phone phreaking

From: Sam Ismail <dastar_at_ncal.verio.com>
Date: Tue Dec 8 18:42:03 1998

On Tue, 8 Dec 1998, Daniel A. Seagraves wrote:

> Ehehehe.... Do you know this from experience?

No. By the time I got heavy into phreaking ESS was a stark reality and
long gone were the days of the analog CO switch. Where I used to live, we
had one of the last StepByStep switches in the country. They swapped it
out with an AT&T 5ESS a few months after I started toying with the phone
system. I did manage to get pieces of the old switch and they're still in
my dad's barn. I did manage to get access to the 5ESS but PacBell found
out about it and they weren't terribly amused.

> Has anyone here actually done this? I once tried recording the payhone
> quarter tones, but it didn't work. Jeff once was nearly arrested for

Recording the quarter tones works as long as they are loud enough coming
out of the phone and you have a good recorder with fresh batteries. The
playback must be within 5% tolerance of the recording. It still works on
a good number of payphones but after the Radio Shack touch tone dialer mod
article came out in the Summer 1990 issue of 2600 every teenager in
America was now walking around with the most proliferate toll fraud device
in the history of telecom and the telephone company eventually found a way
to filter the quarter tones from the mouthpiece albeit several years
later. I remember when my friend and I first built ours we called a bank
in Japan. It was like $16 dollars in quarters. The operator must've
thought we were wacky.

Nowadays, any Bell payphone that's been upgraded for hearing-aid
compatibilty also got the upgrade that thwarts the "red box" (any device
which makes quarter tones). Of course, this trick never worked on the
privately owned payphones (COCOTs) since they didn't use Bell's ACTS
(Automated Coin Toll System) computer for billing, but rather have
internal coin detection mechanisms and databases for rating calls.

You can still find payphones that the red box will work on but its getting
harder all the time.

> fixing a payphone - He was stranded at a wal-mart, the handset cord had been
> severed, so he got a toolkit fron his truck and went to work.
> The police and two Ameritech linemen showed up - The police wanted to haul
> him off, but the linemen said what he did was fine and so he didn't get
> in trouble.


PS. I wrote a program on my Psion 3a called the "3aBox". Its basically a
Blue/Red/Green and Silver box all in one. You select the box you want
from the menu. For the blue box, you can type in whatever string you want
it to outpulse, for instance K415121S (K = Key pulse, S = Start) and then
hit enter. It then plays the tones out the speaker. The Red box has a
menu that lets you select quarter/dime/nickel. The Green box gives you a
menu that lets you select Coin Return, Coin Collect, Ringback and Operator
Release. And the silver box is just a DTMF dialer.

If you're interested in this program, e-mail me and I'll send you the
source. You'll need a serial link to upload it to your Psion. It should
also work on the series 3c, and maybe the Series 5, but I haven't gotten a
5 yet so I don't know for sure.

Sellam Alternate e-mail: dastar_at_siconic.com
Always being hassled by the man.

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Received on Tue Dec 08 1998 - 18:42:03 GMT

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