The Treehouse Blog

Tag: mf

Phone Phreaking

by on Feb.13, 2017, under Technology

I recently read (well, listened to the excellent Audible narration while hiking and driving) Phil Lapsley’s excellent book Exploding the Phone. While I had heard Steves Jobs and Wozniak describe their phone phreaking exploits in documentaries in the past, and had an understanding of the fundamentals of the security issues associated with in-band telephone signaling, this book is the first time I’ve learned about the history of phreaking in any depth. It was both fascinating and riveting. In addition to the book, Phil maintains a website of his sources and other material.

After reading the book, I found some other things of related interest. On Youtube, and other places, there are various recordings of what the using a phone sounded like in the past. I’m not sure when exactly Newburg’s switch was upgraded to a “Northern Telecom Remote Switching Center”. I’ve seen on document that has a “10/90” as part of the description of the switch, so I’m guessing that is the date it was installed. I don’t have any memory of the transition, so for all of my memory of phones, it’s all been digital switching.

Another fun curiosity I came across is Project MF, which provides an Asterisk phone switch with patches that allow it to emulate a trunk and switch susceptible to a Blue Box. I’ve not gotten around to building a Blue Box to play with it yet, though.


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