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TUCoPS :: Phreaking General Information :: basphre.txt

Phreaking basics





:=+---------------------------------+=:
I     BASICS OF PHONE PHREAKING I     I
I        BY LONG JOHN SILICONE        I
I             OCT. 1983               I
:=+---------------------------------+=:

     A RATHER BROAD SUBJECT TO ATTACK, I MUST SAY. THE DEBATE OVER JUST WHAT
TO DISCUSS HAS OCCUPIED MY THOUGHTS FOR MANY AN HOUR. PERHAPS IF I APPROACH
THIS SUBJECT LEGALLY, IN AN INFORMATIVE MANNER THAT IS, MY PROBLEMS MIGHT BE
SOLVED. NONETHELESS, HERE IT GOES.

     MA BELL CAN RATTLE ON FOR HOURS ON METHODS FOR SAVING MONEY ON YOUR LONG-
DISTANCE CALLS. UNFORTUNATELY, MOST PEOPLE STILL THINK THAT AT&T IS THE
ONLY GAME IN TOWN FOR LONG-DISTANCE SERVICE.

     WHAT MA BELL WON'T TELL YOU IS THAT THERE COMES A TIME IN A TELEPHONE
USER'S LIFE TO LEAVE MOM. THERE ARE NOW SEVERAL COMPANIES WHICH COMPETE WITH
AT&T IN THE LONG-DISTANCE MARKET: MCI, SOUTHERN PACIFIC'S "SPRINT" (WHICH IS
CURRENTLY BEING PURCHASED BY GENERAL TELEPHONE AND ELECTRONICS COMPANY),
U.S. TRANSMISSION SYSTEM'S "LONGER DISTANCE" (A SUSIDIARY OF ITT), WESTERN
UNION'S "METROFONE", AND SATELLITE BUSINESS SYSTEM'S "SKYLINE." THEY ALL
BOAST OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR LARGE SAVINGS ON THE LONG-DISTANCE PORTION
OF YOUR MONTHLY PHONE BILL.

     SOMEONE UNAQUAINTED WITH THESE NEW COMPETITORS, WHICH ARE CALLED
"SPECIALIZED COMMON CARRIERS" (OR SCCS), MIGHT ASK, "ISN'T IT A
DUPLICATION OF EFFORT FOR A LOT OF DIFFERENT COMPANIES TO BE RUNNING LONG-
DISTANCE LINES ALL OVER THE COUNTRY? AND HOW CAN A COMPANY THAT IS JUST A
FRACTION OF THE SIZE OF AT&T PROVIDE A SIMILAR SERVICE FOR A LOWER PRICE?"
THE ANSWER IS THAT THESE NEW COMPETITORS HAVE BUILT THEIR BASE BY
CONCENTRATING ON ROUTES WHERE LONGDISTANCE TRAFFIC IS HEAVY, SO THE COST
OF CARRYING EACH CALL IS RELATIVELY LOW. ALSO, THE COMPETITORS TRANSMISSION
EQUIPMENT CONSISTS ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY OF COMPUTERS AND MICROWAVE LINKS, WHICH
THEY HAVE BUILT THEMSELVES OR WHICH THEY LEASE FROM OTHER CARRIERS. THUS,
THESE NETWORKS CAN BE LESS EXPENSIVE TO CONSTRUCT AND MAINTAIN THEN THE
CABLE-BASED SYSTEMS THAT BELL HAS USED FOR YEARS. THERE'S ALSO ANOTHER CLASS
OF COMPETITORS CALLED "RESELLERS", WHO LEASE AND RESELL BOTH AT&T'S AND OTHER
CARRIERS' LINES. MORE ABOUT RESELLERS IN A MOMENT.

     INITIALLY, MOST OF THE SCC COMPETITORS COULD REACH ONLY A LIMITED
NUMBER OF CITIES. BUT AS THEY'VE GROWN, THE NUMBER OF CITIES SERVED BY THEIR
MICROWAVE NETWORKS HAS STEADILY INCREASED, AND TODAY MOST OF THE SCC'S
REACH 70 PERCENT OR MORE OF ALL AREA CODES IN THE UNITED STATES AND CONTINUE
TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF CITIES SERVED EVERY MONTH. SATTELITE BUSINESS
SYSTEM'S "SKYLINE" IS THE FIRST TO OFFER SERVICE TO THE ENTIRE U.S. OVER
ITS OWN NETWORK. THE OTHER SCC'S ARE PHASING IN UNINVERSAL SERVICE BY USING
BELL'S WATS SYSTEM. BUT WHILE USERS OF THESE SERVICES WILL SOON BE ABLE TO
CALL 'TO' ANYWHERE IN THE U.S., THEY WILL STILL BE ABLE TO CALL 'FROM' ONLY
A LIMITED NUMBER OF PLACES, USUALLY THE MAJOR METROPOLITAN AREAS.

     TO USE ANY OF THESE SCC SERVICES, YOU CURRENTLY MUST HAVE A TOUCH-TONE
SERVICE OR THE EQUIVALENT TONE GENERATOR. (THIS IS CHANGING AS A CONSE-
QUENCE OF THE AT&T/DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE DIVESTITURE AGREEMENT, WHICH
WILL REQUIRE THE NEWLY INDEPENDENT LOCAL PHONE COMPANIES TO GRANT ALL
CARRIERS "EQUAL ACCESS" AT EQUAL RATES.) THERE IS AN ADDITIONAL MONTHLY
CHARGE BY THE PHONE COMPANY FOR TOUCHTONE SERVICE (CHECK THE "CUSTOMER
GUIDE" IN YOUR LOCAL WHITE PAGES, OR CALL YOUR BELL BUSINESS OFFICE FOR
DETAILS); HOWEVER, YOU DON'T HAVE TO RENT OR BUY A BELL TELEPHONE TO GET
TOUCH-TONE SERVICE. (HURRAH FOR K-MART)

     IF YOUR LOCAL PHONE LINES ALREADY ARE EQUIPPED TO HANDLE BOTH ROTARY AND
TOUCH-TONE CALLS, YOU MAY BE ABLE TO AVOID THE NEED FOR TOUCH-TONE SERVICE
IN THIS WAY: USING A REGULAR ROTARAY PHONE, YOU PLACE A CALL TO THE SCC'S
COMPUTER; THEN, TO 'CONVERSE' WITH THE COMPUTER SIMPLY USE A TOUCH PAD CONVER-
TER OR A TONE GENERATOR, HELD UP TO THE MOUTHPIECE OF YOUR ROTARY PHONE.

     IT'S REASONABLY EASY TO USE THE SCC SYSTEMS. YOU MUST FIRST DIAL A
SEVEN DIGIT LOCAL PHONE NUMBER (AN 'ACCESS' NUMBER), WHICH CONNECTS YOU
TO THE SCC'S COMPUTER. WHEN YOU HEAR A TONE ON THE OTHER END, YOU THEN
DIAL A FIVE-OR SIX-DIGIT NUMBER (AN 'AUTHORIZATION CODE') THAT TELLS THE
COMPUTER YOU'RE AN AUTHORIZED USER AND TO BILL YOUR ACCOUNT FOR THE CALL.
IMMEDIATELY AFTER DIALING THE AUTHORIZATION NUMBER, YOU DIAL THE AREA CODE
AND NUMBER YOU WISH TO CALL. THE SCC'S COMPUTER IN YOUR AREA THEN SENDS YOUR
CALL OUT OVER ITS OWN LONG-DISTANCE NETWORK TO A COMPUTER IN THE AREA YOU
CALLED; THE COMPUTER ON THE OTHER END THEN HOOKS YOUR CALL INTO THE LOCAL
PHONE NETWORK TO REACH WHOMEVER YOU'VE CALLED. EACH MONTH YOU RECIEVE A BILL
FROM YOUR SCC (SEPERATE FROM YOUR REGULAR PHONE BILL) DETAILING YOUR CALLS
AND BILLING YOU FOR THE SERVICE CHARGES PLUS YOUR CALLS.

NOTE: THIS VARIES ON OCCASION, PRIME EXAMPLE BEING "LONGER DISTANCE".
      INSTEAD OF THE STANDARD CODENUMBER FORMAT, THEY ELECTED
      THE NUMBER-CODE INPUT.

      "SPRINT" USES A SIX-DIGIT CODE FOLLOWED BY A TWO DIGIT TRAVEL CODE.

     A MOMENT OF SPECULATION IS DUE..

   WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF YOU ENTERED SOMEONE ELSES 'ACCESS CODE', THEN
DIALED THE DESTINATION NUMBER? THE ANSWER IS USUALLY GRAND LARCENY;
HOWEVER, IT IS QUITE POSSIBLE SINCE ONLY THE GENERAL PLACE OF ORIGIN IS
POSSIBLE TO DETECT ON A CALL PLACED WITHOUT NOTICE.

     FOR INFORMATION ON THE COMPETITIVE LONG-DISTANCE SERVICES:

MCI : WRITE MCI, MCI BUILDING, 17TH AND STREETS, NW WASHINGTON, D.C.
      20036. CALL TOLL FREE (800) 521-8620 OR IN MICHIGAN (800) 482-
      1740. "EXECUNET"

SBS:  WRITE SBS, JOHN MARSHALL BUILDING 8283 GREENSBORO DRIVE, MCLEAN, VA
      22102. CALL TOLL FREE (800) 698-6900. "SKYLINE"

ITT:  WRITE ITT, U.S. TRANSMISSION SYSTEMS, INC., P.O. BOX 732,
      BOWLING GREEN STATION, NEW YORK NY. 10004 CALL TOLL FREE (800)
      438-9428 OR IN NEW YORK (212)  797-2511. "LONGER DISTANCE"

SPC:  WRITE SPC, ONE ADRIAN COURT, BURILINGAME, CA. 94010, OR CALL
      (800) 521-4949 OR IN MICHIGAN, (800) 645-6020. "SPRINT"

WU :  WRITE WU, 1 LAKE STREET, UPPER SADDLE RIVER, NJ. 07458. CALL
      (800) 325-6000 FOR THE NUMBER OF YOUR LOCAL SERVICE OFFICE. "METROFONE"

     A FINAL NOTE, DON'T DO ANYTHING I WOULDN'T. AND ABOVE ALL, IF YOU DO:

            DON'T GET CAUGHT.
                    YOURS IN TRADE,
                    LONG JOHN SILICONE

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