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TUCoPS :: Phreaking General Information :: eftdev.txt

Electronic Toll Fraud Devices






                        The Official Phreaker's Manual

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                    $  | ELECTRONIC TOLL FRAUD DEVICES |  $
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  THIS PHILE IS DESIGNED TO IDENTIFY VARIOUS KINDS OF ETF (ELECTRONIC TOLL
FRAUD) DEVICES AND TO DESCRIBE THEIR OPERATION, ACCORDING TO A BOOKLET PUT OUT
BY BELL ENTITLED: THE INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF ELECTRONIC TOLL FRAUD
DEVICES. (FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY).

THERE ARE SEVERAL DIFFERENT TYPES OF ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT WHICH MAY BE
GENERALLY CLASSIFIED AS ETF DEVICES. THE MOST SIGNIFICANT IS THE "BLUE BOX".
THE CHARACTERISTICS OF EACH TYPE OF DEVICE ARE DISCUSSED BELOW.



*BLUE BOX*
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

  THE "BLUE BOX" WAS SO NAMED BECAUSE OF THE COLOR OF THE FIRST ONE FOUND. THE
DESIGN AND HARDWARE USED IN THE BLUE BOX IS FAIRLY SOPHISTICATED, AND ITS SIZE
VARIES FROM A LARGE PIECE OF APPARATUS TO A MINIATURIZED UNIT THAT IS
APPROXIMATELY THE SIZE OF A "KING SIZE" PACKAGE OF CIGARETTES. THE BLUE BOX
CONTAINS 12 OR 13 BUTTONS OR SWITCHES THAT EMIT MULTI-FREQUENCY TONES
CHARACTERISTIC OF THE TONES USED IN THE NORMAL OPERATION OF THE TELEPHONE TOLL
(LONG DISTANCE) SWITCHING NETWORK. THE BLUE BOX ENABLES ITS USER TO ORIGINATE
FRAUDULENT ("FREE") TOLL CALLS BY CIRCUMVENTING TOLL BILLING EQUIPMENT. THE
BLUE BOX MAY BE DIRECTLY CONNECTED TO A PHONE LINE, OR IT MAY BE ACOUSTICALLY
COUPLED TO A TELEPHONE HANDSET BY PLACING THE BLUE BOX'S SPEAKER NEXT TO THE
TRANSMITTER OR THE TELEPHONE HANDSET. THE OPERATION OF A BLUE BOX WILL BE
DISCUSSED IN MORE DETAIL BELOW.

     TO UNDERSTAND THE NATURE OF A FRAUDULENT BLUE BOX CALL, IT IS NECESSARY TO
UNDERSTAND THE BASIC OPERATION OF THE DIRECT DISTANCE DIALING (DDD) TELEPHONE
NETWORK. WHEN A DDD CALL IS PROPERLY ORIGINATED, THE CALLING NUMBER IS
IDENTIFIED AS AN INTEGRAL PART OF ESTABLISHING THE CONNECTION. THIS MAY BE DONE
EITHER AUTOMATICALLY OR, IN SOME CASES, BY AN OPERATOR ASKING THE CALLING PARTY
FOR HIS TELEPHONE NUMBER.
     THIS INFORMATION IS ENTERED ON A TAPE IN THE AUTOMATIC MESSAGE ACCOUNTING
(AMA) OFFICE. THIS TAPE ALSO CONTAINS THE NUMBER ASSIGNED TO THE TRUNK LINE
OVER WHICH THE CALL IS TO BE SENT. THE INFORMATION RELATING TO THE CALL
CONTAINED ON THE TAPE INCLUDES: CALLED NUMBER, CALLING NUMBER, TIME OF CALL.
THE TIME OF DISCONNECT AT THE END OF THE CALL IS ALSO RECORDED.
     ALTHOUGH THE TAPE CONTAINS INFO WITH RESPECT TO MANY DIFFERENT CALLS, THE
VARIOUS DATA ENTRIES WITH RESPECT TO A SINGLE CALL ARE EVENTUALLY CORRELATED TO
PROVIDE BILLING INFO FOR USE BY YOUR BELL'S ACCOUNTING DEPARTMENT.
     THE TYPICAL BLUE BOX USER USUALLY DIALS A NUMBER THAT WILL ROUTE THE CALL
INTO THE TELEPHONE NETWORK WITHOUT CHARGE. FOR EXAMPLE, THE USER WILL VERY
OFTEN CALL A WELL-KNOWN INWATS (TOLL-FREE) CUSTOMER'S NUMBER. THE BLUE BOX
USER, AFTER GAINING THIS ACCESS TO THE NETWORK AND, IN EFFECT, "SEIZĄ§G"
CONTROL AND COMPLETE DOMINION OVER THE LINE, OPERATES A KEY ON THE BLUE BOX
WHICH EMITS A 2600 HERTZ (CYCLES PER SECOND) TONE. THIS TONE CAUSES THE
SWITCHING EQUIPMENT TO RELEASE THE CONNECTION TO THE INWATS CUSTOMER'S LINE.
THE 2600HZ TONE IS A SIGNAL THAT THE CALLING PARTY HAS HUNG UP. THE BLUE BOX
SIMULATES THIS CONDITION. HOWEVER, IN FACT THE LOCAL TRUNK ON THE CALLING
PARTY'S END IS STILL CONNECTED TO THE TOLL NETWORK. THE BLUE BOX USER NOW
OPERATES THE "KP" (KEY PULSE) KEY ON THE BLUE BOX TO NOTIFY THE TOLL SWITCHING
EQUIPMENT THAT SWITCHING SIGNALS ARE ABOUT TO BE EMITTED. THE USER THEN PUSHES
THE "NUMBER" BUTTONS ON THE BLUE BOX CORRESPONDING TO THE TELEPHONE # BEING
CALLED. AFTER DOING SO HE/SHE OPERATES THE "ST" (START) KEY TO INDICATE TO THE
SWITCHING EQUIPMENT THAT SIGNALLING IS COMPLETE. IF THE CALL IS COMPLETED, ONLY
THE PORTION OF THE ORIGINAL CALL PRIOR TO THE EMISSION OF 2600HZ TONE IS
RECORDED ON THE AMA TAPE. THE TONES EMITTED BY THE BLUE BOX ARE NOT RECORDED ON
THE AMA TAPE. THEREFORE, BECAUSE THE ORIGINAL CALL TO THE INWATS # IS
TOLL-FREE, NO BILLING IS RENDERED IN CONNECTION WITH THE CALL.
  ALTHOUGH THE ABOVE IS A DESCRIPTION OF A TYPICAL BLUE BOX OPERATION USING A
COMMON METHOD OF ENTRY INTO THE NETWORK, THE OPERATION OF A BLUE BOX MAY VARY
IN ANY ONE OR ALL OF THE FOLLOWING RESPECTS:

(A) THE BLUE BOX MAY INCLUDE A ROTARY DIAL TO APPLY THE 2600HZ TONE AND THE
SWITCHING SIGNALS. THIS TYPE OF BLUE BOX IS CALLED A "DIAL PULSER" OR "ROTARY
SF" BLUE BOX.

(B) ENTRANCE INTO THE DDD TOLL NETWORK MAY BE EFFECTED BY A PRETEXT CALL TO ANY
OTHER TOLL-FREE # SUCH AS UNIVERSAL DIRECTORY ASSISTANCE (555-1212) OR ANY # IN
THE INWATS NETWORK, EITHER INTER-STATE OR INTRA-STATE, WORKING OR NON-WORKING.

(C) ENTRANCE INTO THE DDD TOLL NETWORK MAY ALSO BE IN THE FORM OF "SHORT HAUL"
CALLING. A "SHORT HAUL" CALL IS A CALL TO ANY # WHICH WILL RESULT IN A LESSER
AMOUNT OF TOLL CHARGES THAN THE CHARGES FOR THE CALL TO BE COMPLETED BY THE
BLUE BOX. FOR EXAMPLE, A CALL TO  BIRMINGHAM FROM ATLANTA MAY COST $.80 FOR THE
FIRST 3 MINUTES WHILE A CALL FROM ATLANTA TO LOS ANGELES IS $1.85 FOR 3
MINUTES. THUS, A SHORT HAUL, 3-MINUTE CALL TO BIRMINGHAM FROM ATLANTA, SWITCHED
BY USE OF A BLUE BOX TO LOS ANGELES, WOULD RESULT IN A NET FRAUD OF $2.65 FOR A
3 MINUTE CALL.

(D) A BLUE BOX MAY BE WIRED INTO THE TELEPHONE LINE OR ACOUSTICALLY CONNECTED
TO THE HANDSET. THE BLUE BOX MAY EVEN BE BUILT INSIDE A REGULAR TOUCH-TONE
PHONE, USING THE PHONE'S PUSH BUTTONS FOR THE BLUE BOX'S SIGNALLING TONES.

(E) A MAGNETIC TAPE RECORDING MAY BE USED TO RECORD THE BLUE BOX TONES
REPRESENTATIVE OF SPECIFIC PHONE #'S. SUCH A TAPE RECORDING COULD BE USED IN
LIEU OF
A BLUE BOX TO FRAUDULENTLY PLACE CALLS TO THE PHONE #'S RECORDED ON THE
MAGNETIC TAPE.

     ALL BLUE BOXES, EXCEPT "DIAL PULSE" OR "ROTARY SF" BLUE BOXES, MUST HAVE
THE FOLLOWING 4 COMMON OPERATING CAPABILITIES:

(A) IT MUST HAVE SIGNALLING CAPABILITY IN THE FORM OF A 2600HZ TONE. THE TONE
IS USED BY THE TOLL NETWORK TO INDICATE, EITHER BY ITS PRESENCE OR ITS ABSENCE,
AN "ON HOOK" (IDLE) OR "OFF HOOK" (BUSY) CONDITION OF THE TRUNK.

(B) THE BLUE BOX MUST HAVE A "KP" TONES THAT UNLOCKS OR READIES THE
MULTI-FREQUENCY RECEIVER AT THE CALLED END TO RECEIVE THE TONES CORRESPONDING
TO THE CALLED PHONE #.

(C) THE TYPICAL BLUE BOX MUST BE ABLE TO EMIT MF TONES WHICH ARE USED TO
TRANSMIT PHONE #'S OVER THE TOLL NETWORK. EACH DIGIT OF A PHONE # IS
REPRESENTED BY A COMBINATION OF 2 TONES. FOR EXAMPLE, THE DIGIT 2 IS X-MITTED
BY A COMBINATION OF 700HZ AND 1100HZ.

(D) THE BLUE BOX MUST HAVE AN "ST" KEY WHICH CONSISTS OF A COMBINATION OF 2
TONES THAT TELL THE EQUIPMENT AT THE CALLED END THAT ALL DIGITS HAVE BEEN SENT
AND THAT THE EQUIPMENT SHOULD START SWITCHING THE CALL TO THE CALLED NUMBER.

   THE "DIAL PULSER" OR "ROTARY SF" BLUE BOX REQUIRES ONLY A DIAL WITH A
SIGNALLING CAPABILITY TO PRODUCE A 2600HZ TONE.

*BLACK BOX*
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

     THIS ETF DEVICE IS SO-NAMED BECAUSE OF THE COLOR OF THE FIRST ONE FOUND.
IT VARIES IN SIZE AND USUALLY HAS ONE OR TWO SWITCHES OR BUTTONS.  ATTACHED TO
THE TELEPHONE LINE OF A CALLED PARTY, THE BLACK BOX PROVIDES TOLL-FREE CALLING
*TO* THAT PARTY'S LINE. A BLACK BOX USER INFORMS OTHER PERSONS BEFOREHAND THAT
THEY WILL NOT BE CHARGED FOR ANY CALL PLACED TO HIM. THE USER THEN OPERATES THE
DEVICE CAUSING A "NON-CHARGE" CONDITION  ("NO ANSWER" OR "DISCONNECT") TO BE
RECORDED ON THE TELEPHONE COMPANY'S BILLING EQUIPMENT. A BLACK BOX IS
RELATIVELY SIMPLE TO CONSTRUCT AND IS MUCH LESS SOPHISTICATED THAN A BLUE BOX.

*CHEESE BOX*
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

  ITS DESIGN MAY BE CRUDE OR VERY SOPHISTICATED. ITS SIZE VARIES; ONE WAS FOUND
THE SIZE OF A HALF-DOLLAR.  A CHEESE BOX IS USED MOST OFTEN BY BOOKMAKERS OR
BETTERS TO PLACE WAGERS WITHOUT DETECTION FROM A REMOTE LOCATION. THE DEVICE
INTER-CONNECTS 2 PHONE LINES, EACH HAVING DIFFERENT #'S BUT EACH TERMINATING AT
THE SAME LOCATION. IN EFFECT, THERE ARE 2 PHONES AT THE SAME LOCATION WHICH ARE
LINKED TOGETHER THROUGH A CHEESE BOX. IT IS USUALLY FOUND IN AN UNOCCUPIED
APARTMENT CONNECTED TO A PHONE JACK OR CONNECTING BLOCK. THE BOOKMAKER, AT SOME
REMOTE LOCATION, DIALS ONE OF THE NUMBERS AND STAYS ON THE LINE. VARIOUS
BETTORS DIAL THE OTHER NUMBER BUT ARE AUTOMATICALLY CONNECTED WITH THE
BOOKMAKER BY MEANS OF THE CHEESE BOX INTER-CONNECTION. IF, IN ADDITION TO A
CHEESE BOX, A BLACK BOX IS INCLUDED IN THE ARRANGEMENT, THE COMBINED EQUIPMENT
WOULD PERMIT TOLL-FREE CALLING ON EITHER LINE TO THE OTHER LINE. IF A POLICE
RAID WERE CONDUCTED AT THE TERMINATING POINT OF THE CONVERSATIONS -THE LOCATION
OF THE CHEESE BOX- THERE WOULD BE NO EVIDENCE OF GAMBLING ACTIVITY. THIS DEVICE
IS SOMETIMES DIFFICULT TO IDENTIFY. LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS HAVE BEEN ADVISED
THAT WHEN UNUSUAL DEVICES ARE FOUND ASSOCIATED WITH TELEPHONE CONNECTIONS THE
PHONE COMPANY SECURITY REPRESENTATIVES SHOULD BE CONTACTED TO ASSIST IN
IDENTIFICATION. (THIS PROBABLY WOULD BE GOOD FOR A BBS , ESPECIALLY WITH THE
BLACK BOX SET UP. AND IF YOU EVER DECIDED TO TAKE THE BOARD DOWN, YOU WOULDN'T
HAVE TO CHANGE YOUR PHONE #. IT ALSO MAKES IT SO YOU YOURSELF CANNOT BE TRACED.
I AM NOT SURE ABOUT CALLING OUT FROM ONE THOUGH)

*RED BOX*
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

  THIS DEVICE IT COUPLED ACOUSTICALLY TO THE HANDSET TRANSMITTER OF A
SINGLE-SLOT COIN TELEPHONE. THE DEVICE EMITS SIGNALS IDENTICAL TO THOSE TONES
EMITTED WHEN COINS ARE DEPOSITED. THUS, LOCAL OR TOLL CALLS MAY BE PLACED
WITHOUT THE ACTUAL DEPOSIT OF COINS.



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