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TUCoPS :: Phreaking Technical System Info :: esssys.txt

ESS Systems




TO PAUSE S TO STOP ---(==

$+$+$+$+$+$+$+$+$+$+$+$+$+$+$+$+$+$+$
$      Electronic Switching System  $
$       From 2600 mag.  Feb '84     $
$+$+$+$+$+$+$+$+$+$+$+$+$+$+$+$+$+$+$
            (Courtesy of Black Knight)
  THERE WAS OF COURSE NO WAY OF KNOWING
WETHER YOU WERE BEING WATCHED AT ANY
OMENT.  HOW OFTEN, OR ON WHAT
SYSTEM, THE THOUGHT POLICE PLUGGED IN ON
ANY INDIVIDUAL WIRE WAS GUESSWORK.  IT 
WAS EVEN CONCEIVABLE THAT THEY WATCHED
EVERYBODY ALL THE TIME.  BUT AT ANY RAT
E THEY COULD PLUG IN YOUR WIRE WHENEVER
THEY WANTED TO.  YOU HAD TO LIVE--DID L
IVE, FROM HABIT THAT BECAME INSTICT--IN
THE ASSUMPTION THAT EVERY SOUND YOU MAD
E WAS OVERHEARD, AND, EXCEPT IN
DARKNESS, EVERY MOVEMENT SCRUTINIZED.
                                       
          'FROM NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR'
 
  ESS IS THE BIG BROTHER OF THE BELL
FAMILY.  ITS VERY NAME STRIKES FEAR AND
APPREHENSION INTO THE HEARTS OF MOST
PHREAKERS, AND FOR A VERY GOOD REASON.
ESS (ELECTRONIC SWITCHING SYSTEM) KNOWS
THE FULL STORY ON EVERY TELEPHONE
HOOKED INTO IT.  WHILE IT MAY BE PARANO
ID TO SAY THAT ALL PHREAKING WILL COME
TO A SCREECHING HALT UNDER ESS, IT'S
CERTAINLY REALISTIC TO ADMIT THAT ANY
PHREAK WHOSE CENTRAL OFFICE TURNS TO
ESS WILL HAVE TO BA A LOT MORE CAREFUL.
HERE'S WHY.
 
  WITH ELECTRONIC SWITCHING, EVERY
SINGLE DIGIT DIALED IS RECORDED.  THIS
IS USEFUL NOT ONLY FOR NAILING PHREAKS
BUT FOR SETTLING BILLING DISPUTES.  IN
THE PAST, THERE HAS BEEN NO EASY WAY
FOR THE PHONE COMPANY TO SHOW YOU WHAT
NUMBERS YOU DIALED LOCALLY.  IF YOU
PROTESTED LONG ENOUGH AND LOUD ENOUGH,
THEY MIGHT HAVE PUT A PEN REGISTER ON
YOUR LINE TO RECORD EVERYTHING AND
PROVE IT TO YOU.  UNDER ESS, THE ACTUAL
PRINTOUT (WHICH WILL BE DUG OUT OF A
VAULT SOMEWHERE IF NEEDED) SHOWS EVERY
LAST DIGIT DIALED. 
EVERY 800 CALL, EVERY CALL TO DIRECTORY
ASSISTANCE, REPAIR SERVICE, THE
OPERATOR, EVERY RENDITION OF THE 1812
OVERTURE, EVERYTHING!  HERE IS AN
EXAMPLE OF A TYPICAL PRINTOUT, WHICH
SHOWS TIME OF CONNECT, LENGTH OF
CONNECT, AND NUMBER CALLED.
 
DATE  TIME  LENGTH UNITS  NUMBER
 
0603  1518     3   1      456-7890
0603  1525     5   3      345-6789
0603  1602     1   0      000-4011
0603  1603     1   0      800-555-1212
0603  1603     10  2.35*  212-345-6789
0603  1624     1   0      000-000-0000
(TSPS)
 
  A THOUSAND CALLS TO "800" WILL SHOW
UP AS JUST THAT--A THOUSAND CALLS TO
"800"!  EVERY TOUCH TONE OR PULSE IS
KEPT TRACK OF AND FOR MOST PHREAKS,
THIS IN ITSELF WON'T BE VERY PRETTY.
 
  SOMEWHERE IN THE HALLOWED HALLS OF 19
5 BROADWAY, A TRAFFIC ENGINEER DID AN
EXHAUSTIVE STUDY OF ALL 800 CALLS OVER
THE PAST FEW YEARS, AND REACHED THE
FOLLOWING CONCLUSIONS:  (1) LEGITIMATE
CALLS TO 800 NUMBERS LAST AN AVERAGE OF
3 MINUTES OR LESS.  OF THE ILLEGAL (I.E
PHREAKERS) CALLS MADE VIA 800 LINES,
MORE THAN 80% LASTED 5 MINUTES/LONGER;
(2) THE AVERAGE RESIDENTIAL TELEPHONE
SUBSCRIBER MAKES FIVE SUCH CALLS TO AN
800 NUMBER PER MONTH.  WHENEVER
PHREAKERS ARE BEING WATCHED, THAT
NUMBER WAS SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER.  AS A
RESULT OF THIS STUDY, ONE FEATURE OF
ESS IS A DAILY LOG CALLED THE "800
EXCEPTIONAL CALLING REPORT."
 
  UNDER ESS, ONE SIMPLY DOES NOT PLACE
A 2600 HZ TONE ON THE LINE, UNLESS OF
COURSE, THEY WANT A TELCO SECURITY
REPRESENTATIVE AND A POLICEMAN AT THEIR
DOORWITHIN AN HOUR!  THE NEW GENERICS
OF ESS (THE #5) NOW IN PRODUCTION, WITH
AN OPERATING PROTOTYPE IN GENEVA, ILL,
ALLOW THE SYSTEM TO SILENTLY DETECT ALL
"FOREIGN" TONES NOT AVAILABLE ON THE
CUSTOMER'S PHONE.  YOU HAVE EXACTLY 12
BUTTONS ON YOUR TOUCH-TONE (R) PHONE.
ESS KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE, AND YOU HAD
BEST NOT SOUND ANY OTHER TONES ON THE
LINE, SINCE THE NEW #5 IS PROGRAMMED
TO SILENTLY NOTIFY A HUMAN BEING IN THE
CENTRAL OFFICE, WHILE CONTINUING WITH
YOUR CALL AS THOUGH NOTHING WERE WRONG!
  SOMEONE WILL JUST PUNCH A FEW KEYS ON
THEIR TERMINAL, AND THE WHOLE SORDID
STORY WILL BE RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM, &
PRINTED OUT FOR ACTION BY THE SECURITY
REPRESENTATIVES AS NEEDED.
 
  TRACING OF CALLS FOR WHATEVER REASON 
(ABUSIVE CALLS, FRAUD CALLS, ETC.) IS
DONE BY MERELY ASKING THE COMPUTER
RIGHT FROM A TERMINAL IN THE SECURITY
DEPARTMENT.  WITH ESS, EVERYTHING IS RI
GHT UP FRONT, NOTHING HIDDEN OR
CONCEALED IN ELECTROMECHANICAL FRAMES, 
ETC.  IT'S MERELY A SOFTWARE PROGRAM!
AND A PROGRAM DESIGNED FOR EASE IN
OPERATION BY THE PHONE COMPANY.  CALL
TRACING HAS BECOME VERY SOPHISTICATED A
ND IMMEDIATE.  THERE'S NO MORE RUNNING
IN THE FRAMES AND LOOKING FOR LONG PERI
ODS OF TIME.  ROM CHIPS IN COMPUTERS
WORK FAST, AND THAT IS WHAT ESS IS ALL
ABOUT.
 
  PHONE PHREAKS ARE NOT THE ONLY REASON
FOR ESS, BUT IT WAS ONE VERY IMPORTANT
ONE.  THE FIRST AND FOREMOST REASON FOR
ESS IS TO PROVIDE THE PHONE COMPANY
WITH BETTER CONTROL ON BILLING AND
EQUIPMENT RECORDS, FASTER HANDLING OF
CALLS (I.E. LESS EQUIPMENT TIED UP IN
THE OFF ICE AT ANY ONE TIME), & TO HELP
AGENCIES SUCH AS THE FBI KEEP BETTER
ACCOUNT OF WHO WAS CALLING WHO FROM
WHERE,ETC.  WHEN THE FBI FINDS OUT THAT
SOMEONE WHOSE CALLS THEY WANT TO TRACE
IS ON A ESS EXCHANGE, THEY ARE THRILLED
BECAUSE IT'S SO MUCH EASIER FOR THEM
THEN.
 
  THE UNITED STATES WON'T BE 100% ESS
UNTIL SOMETIME IN THE MID 1990'S.  BUT
IN REAL PRACTICE, ALL PHONE OFFICES IN
ALMOST EVERY CITY ARE GETTING SOME OF
THE MOST BASIC MODIFICATIONS BROUGHT
ABOUT BY ESS.  "911" SERVICE IS AN ESS
FUNCTION.  SO IS ANI (AUTOMATIC NUMBER 
IDENTIFICATION) ON LONG DISTANCE CALLS.
"DIAL TONE FIRST" PAY PHONES ARE ALSO
AN ESS FUNCTION.  NONE OF THESE THINGS
WERE AVAILABLE PRIOR TO ESS. THE AMOUNT
OF PURE FRAUD CALLING VIA BOGUS CREDIT
CARD, THIRD NUMBER BILLING, ETC. ON
BELL'S LINES LED TO THE DECISION TO
RAPIDLY INSTALL THE ANI, FOR EXAMPLE,
EVEN IF THE REST OF THE ESS WAS SEVERAL
YEARS AWAY IN SOME CASES.
 
  DEPENDING ON HOW YOU CHOOSE TO LOOK
AT THE WHOLE CONCEPT OF ESS, IT CAN BE
EITHER ONE OF THE MOST ADVANTAGEOUS
INNOVATIONS OF ALL TIME OR ONE OF THE
SCARIEST.  THE SYSTEM IS GOOD FOR
CONSUMERS IN THAT IT CAN TAKE A LOT OF
ACTIVITY AND DO LOTS OF THINGS THAT OLD
ER SYSTEMS COULD NEVER DO.  FEATURES
SUCH AS DIRECT DIALING OVERSEAS, CALL
FORWARDING (BOTH OF WHICH OPEN UP NEW
WORLDS OF PHREAKING WHICH WE'LL EXPLORE
 IN LATER ISSUES), AND CALL HOLDING ARE
STEPS FORWARD, WITHOUT QUESTION.  BUT
AT THE SAME TIME, WHAT DO ALL OF THE
NASTY IMPLICATIONS MENTIONED FURTHER
BACK MEAN TO THE AVERAGE PERSON ON THE
SIDEWALK?  THE SYSTEM IS PERFECTLY
CAPABLE OF MONITORING ANYONE, NOT JUST
PHONE PHREAKS!  WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF
THE NICE FRIENDLY GOVERNMENT WE HAVE
SOMEHOW GOT OVERTHROWN AND A MEAN NASTY
ONE TOOK ITS PLACE?  WITH ESS, THEY
WOULDN'T HAVE TO DO TOO MUCH WORK, JUST
COME UP WITH SOME NEW SOFTWARE. IMAGINE
A PHONE SYSTEM THAT COULD TELL
AUTHORITIES HOW MANY CALLS YOU PLACED
TO CERTAIN TYPES OF PEOPLE, I.E. BLACKS
 COMMUNISTS, LAUNDROMAT SERVICE
EMPLOYEES... ESS COULD DO IT, IF SO
PROGRAMMED.
 
*** BIOC
*** AGENT 003


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