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TUCoPS :: Phreaking General Information :: captinap.txt

An Apple for the Captain


 -			   An Apple For The Captain			     -
 =			 InfoWorld -- October 1, 1984			     =
 -			      By Stephen Wozniak			     -
 =		   Word Processed for SF][ by BIOC Agent 003		     =

   The best prank I've seen with the Apple was played by Cap'n Crunch.  John
Draper, one of Apple's first employees, was responsible for designing a
telephone board for us.  Much more than a modem, the board could send
touch-tone or pulse-dial data; it could also transmit any tones that were
programmable down the line, listen for specific sounds, and a bunch of other

   At one point Draper was motivated to crack WATS extenders.  A WATS extender
is used when a company has incoming and outgoing free 800 lines.  Company
executives call in on the incoming 800 line and tap out a four-digit code,
which gets them on their company's outgoing 800 line.  They only system
protection is the four-digit code.

   It would take a long time to dial 10,000 phone calls manually, searching for
the extender code.  But Draper had designed this new telephone board, and he
knew a bunch of companies that had WATS extenders.  He programmed the Apple to
call the company on its 800 number, automatically get to the WATS extender,
type out a four-digit code, and check to see if the attempt succeeded or
failed.  The Apple with the board would listen to all the tones on the phone
line to determine when it was ringing, when it went to the WATS extender, and
so on.

   It took about 10 seconds for the Apple to dial the call and try a new
four-digit code.  The Apple would restart and try again.  And then try the next
number.  It was able to dial about 5,000 calls a night -- the average number of
calls to crack a WATS extender.  Draper cracked about 20 WATS exteders,
averaging one a night.

   The city of Mountain View, California, where he lived at the time, keeps an
index of how well the phone system is working.	An average of 30% of all calls
made from the city don't go through.  The month Draper was cracking the WATS
extenders, the index jumped to 80%!  For that month Draper made more than 50%
of the calls originating from Mountain View, California, whose population is
60,000.... <>

[Courtesy of Sherwood Forest ][ -- (914) 359-1517]

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