Phreaking Dictionary: What is Phreaking

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

/-/ Phreak Dictionary /-/

From The InFECTion Cook Book

Here you will find some of the basic but necessary terms that should be known by any phreak who wants to be respected at all.

Phreak : 1. The action of using mischevious and mostly illegal ways in order to not pay for some sort of tele- communications bill, order, transfer, or other service. It often involves usage of highly illegal boxes and machines in order to defeat the security that is set up to avoid this sort of happening. [fr’eaking]. v.

2. A person who uses the above methods of destruction and chaos in order to make a better life for all. A true phreaker will not not go against his fellows or narc on people who have ragged on him or do anything termed to be dishonorable to phreaks. [fr’eek]. n.

3. A certain code or dialup useful in the action of being a phreak. (Example: “I hacked a new metro phreak last night.”)

Switching System: 1. There are 3 main switching systems currently employed in the US, and a few other systems will be mentioned as background.

A) SxS: This system was invented in 1918 and was employed in over half of the country until 1978. It is a very basic system that is a general waste of energy and hard work on the linesman. A good way to identify this is that it requires a coin in the phone booth before it will give you a dial tone, or that no call waiting, call forwarding, or any other such service is available. Stands for: Step by Step

B) XB: This switching system was first employed in 1978 in order to take care of most of the faults of SxS switching. Not only is it more efficient, but it also can support different services in various forms. XB1 is Crossbar Version 1. That is very limited and is hard to distinguish from SxS except by direct view of the wiring involved. Next up was XB4, Crossbar Version 4. With this system, some of the basic things like DTMF that were not available with SxS can be accomplished. For the final stroke of XB, XB5 was created. This is a service that can allow DTMF plus most 800 type services (which were not always available.) Stands for: Crossbar.

C) ESS: A nightmare in telecom. In vivid color, ESS is a pretty bad thing to have to stand up to. It is quite simple to identify. Dialing 911 for emergencies, and ANI [see ANI below] are the most common facets of the dread system. ESS has the capability to list in a person’s caller log what number was called, how long the call took, and even the status of the conversation (modem or otherwise.) Since ESS has been employed, which has been very recently, it has gone through many kinds of revisions.

The latest system to date is ESS 11a, that is employed in Washington D.C. for security reasons. ESS is truly trouble for any phreak, because it is ‘smarter’ than the other systems. For instance, if on your caller log they saw 50 calls to 1-800-421-9438, they would be able to do a CN/A [see Loopholes below] on your number and determine whether you are subscribed to that service or not.

This makes most calls a hazard, because although 800 numbers appear to be free, they are recorded on your caller log and then right before you receive your bill it deletes the billings for them. But before that the are open to inspection, which is one reason why extended use of any code is dangerous under ESS. Some of the boxes [see Boxing below] are unable to function in ESS. It is generally a menace to the true phreak. Stands For: Electronic Switching System. Because they could appear on a filter somewhere or maybe it is just nice to know them anyways.

A) SSS: Strowger Switching System. First non-operator system available.

B) WES: Western Electronics Switching. Used about 40 years ago with some minor places out west.


1) The use of personally designed boxes that emit or cancel electronical impulses that allow simpler acting while phreaking. Through the use of separate boxes, you can accomplish most feats possible with or without the control of an operator.

2) Some boxes and their functions are listed below. Ones marked with ‘*’ indicate that they are not operatable in ESS.

*Black Box: Makes it seem to the phone company that the phone was never picked up.

Blue Box : Emits a 2600hz tone that allows you to do such things as stack a trunk line, kick the operator off line, and others.

Red Box : Simulates the noise of a quarter, nickel, or dime being dropped into a payphone.

Cheese Box : Turns your home phone into a pay phone to throw off traces (a red box is usually needed in order to call out.)

*Clear Box : Gives you a dial tone on some of the old SxS payphones without putting in a coin.

Beige Box : A simpler produced linesman’s handset that allows you to tap into phone lines and extract by eavesdropping, or crossing wires, etc.

Purple Box : Makes all calls made out from your house seem to be local calls.

ANI [ANI]: 1) Automatic Number Identification. A service available on ESS that allows a phone service [see Dialups below] to record the number that any certain code was dialed from along with the number that was called and print both of these on the customer bill. 950 dialups [see Dialups below] are all designed just to use ANI. Some of the services do not have the proper equipment to read the ANI impulses yet, but it is impossible to see which is which without being busted or not busted first.

Dialups [dy’l’ups]: 1) Any local or 800 extended outlet that allows instant access to any service such as MCI, Sprint, or AT&T that from there can be used by handpicking or using a program to reveal other peoples codes which can then be used moderately until they find out about it and you must switch to another code (preferrably before they find out about it.)

2) Dialups are extremely common on both senses. Some dialups reveal the company that operates them as soon as you hear the tone. Others are much harder and some you may never be able to identify.

A small list of dialups: 1-800-421-9438 (5 digit codes) 1-800-547-6754 (6 digit codes) 1-800-345-0008 (6 digit codes) 1-800-734-3478 (6 digit codes) 1-800-222-2255 (5 digit codes)

3) Codes: Codes are very easily accessed procedures when you call a dialup. They will give you some sort of tone. If the tone does not end in 3 seconds, then punch in the code and immediately following the code, the number you are dialing but strike the ‘1’ in the beginning out first. If the tone does end, then punch in the code when the tone ends. Then, it will give you another tone. Punch in the number you are dialing, or a ‘9’. If you punch in a ‘9’ and the tone stops, then you messed up a little. If you punch in a tone and the tone continues, then simply dial then number you are calling without the ‘1’.

4) All codes are not universal. The only type that I know of that is truly universal is Metrophone. Almost every major city has a local Metro dialup (for Philadelphia, (215)351-0100/0126) and since the codes are universal, almost every phreak has used them once or twice. They do not employ ANI in any outlets that I know of, so feel free to check through your books and call 555-1212 or, as a more devious manor, subscribe yourself. Then, never use your own code. That way, if they check up on you due to your caller log, they can usually find out that you are subscribed. Not only that but you could set a phreak hacker around that area and just let it hack away, since they usually group them, and, as a bonus, you will have their local dialup.

5) 950’s. They seem like a perfectly cool phreakers dream. They are free from your house, from payphones, from everywhere, and they host all of the major long distance companies (950)1044 <MCI>, 950)1077 <Sprint>, 950-1088 <S+ylines>, 950-1033 <Us Telecom>.) Well, they aren’t. They were designed for ANI. That is the point, end of discussion.

A phreak dictionary. If you remember all of the things contained on that fileup there, you may have a better chance of doing whatever it is you do. This next section is maybe a little more interesting…

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