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What is phreaking


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#1 resistor X

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 11:10 AM

Some people don't know what phreaking is and if I call myself that they won't know what I'm talking about. So I got to thinking that what they need is a definition of it. Finding one however was a task in itself because everywhere I looked "doing illegal things" was always, and I mean always, included (like it's a 'given').

This is what hackers run into- the false definition that hacking means you're doing something illegal.


Finally I got tired of looking and came up with something on my own and here it is:

http://tinyurl.com/whats-phreaking

Now I have something I can give out for the people who don't know what it is and it doesn't include 'breaking laws'.

Feel free to use it or make one better if you'd like.

Edited by resistor X, 27 October 2011 - 11:13 AM.


#2 resistor X

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 03:25 PM

Granted there's not much to it-it's bare bones and meant to be. Just a lil something so they get the idea.

Edit:
I tried to place this in the post above but it wouldn't let me edit it.

Edited by resistor X, 27 October 2011 - 03:26 PM.


#3 nyphonejacks

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 06:19 PM

Granted there's not much to it-it's bare bones and meant to be. Just a lil something so they get the idea.

Edit:
I tried to place this in the post above but it wouldn't let me edit it.


good start, are you going to be adding to it or is that the completed project?

#4 resistor X

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 07:24 PM


Granted there's not much to it-it's bare bones and meant to be. Just a lil something so they get the idea.

Edit:
I tried to place this in the post above but it wouldn't let me edit it.


good start, are you going to be adding to it or is that the completed project?

I'm probably not going to add to it but I've been pondering it anyway. For one thing I could add a few examples of phreaking- non illegal examples of course.

Dunno yet I guess. :D That would take work though and I'm a bit lazy on that thought.




Edited by resistor X, 27 October 2011 - 07:25 PM.


#5 resistor X

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 08:34 PM


Granted there's not much to it-it's bare bones and meant to be. Just a lil something so they get the idea.

Edit:
I tried to place this in the post above but it wouldn't let me edit it.


good start, are you going to be adding to it or is that the completed project?


Now.... see what you've done! You've got me wanting to add more! So much for laziness, eh? Lol. It's all your fault, you've tempted me.

I had 2 ideas this morning and I'm trying to recall them. What were they? They were good too........

#6 wwwd40

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 05:05 AM

This is what hackers run into- the false definition that hacking means you're doing something illegal.


As I see it, phreaking is a just subset of hacking that focuses on phone networks as an access technology and manipulation of the services that are provided be that for exploration & education or theft of service. As a subset of hacking it will always be subject to the same labels: people will just see the illegal side of it and for your average punter trying to explain it further wont help matters much- so why bother? Why try to justify yourself? Just stop telling people you're a phreaker as it died out in the 70's with cptn crunch and his shitty whistles and clicks. Which leads to the point that that one of the founders of phreaking was sentenced for fraudulently making calls. That isnt going to help you explain how virtuous and not-for-illegality it is as a hobby is it.

The illegal activities of Cptn Crunch and the fathers of phreaking are to blame for the misunderstanding of the term hacking and built the assumption that hacking is about theft. I.e. prior to the early 70's, hacking was about the understanding and manipulation of technology to better suit personal requirements. After that it was about stealing stuff or making a profit. Discuss.

#7 resistor X

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 05:41 AM


This is what hackers run into- the false definition that hacking means you're doing something illegal.


As I see it, phreaking is a just subset of hacking that focuses on phone networks as an access technology and manipulation of the services that are provided be that for exploration & education or theft of service. As a subset of hacking it will always be subject to the same labels: people will just see the illegal side of it and for your average punter trying to explain it further wont help matters much- so why bother? Why try to justify yourself? Just stop telling people you're a phreaker as it died out in the 70's with cptn crunch and his shitty whistles and clicks. Which leads to the point that that one of the founders of phreaking was sentenced for fraudulently making calls. That isnt going to help you explain how virtuous and not-for-illegality it is as a hobby is it.

The illegal activities of Cptn Crunch and the fathers of phreaking are to blame for the misunderstanding of the term hacking and built the assumption that hacking is about theft. I.e. prior to the early 70's, hacking was about the understanding and manipulation of technology to better suit personal requirements. After that it was about stealing stuff or making a profit. Discuss.


The thought crossed my mind to not tell people I phreak for the reasons you've given.

As for dying out, IMO it hasn't. When I do something as simple as scan prefixes looking for numbers I'm phreaking, even if that's all I'm doing.

The average person won't change matters much I can agree, however that's not what I had in mind. I wanted to tell people what it was for those who don't know, period.

There is a shift away from thinking hacking is all about stealing. White hats come to mind. Clearly there are people who are setting themselves apart from the bad labeling.

Which leads to the point that that one of the founders of phreaking was sentenced for fraudulently making calls.

Who? Or are you referring to old news?

Edited by resistor X, 28 October 2011 - 05:49 AM.


#8 wwwd40

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 07:01 AM

I don't think there is a shift in most people's thinking about hacking. I'm definitely not saying hacking is about stealing, but in most people's eyes it is about criminality and that has in no small way been helped by the early phreakers stealing services. White hat, black hat, grey hat is all the same to the genral populus. A white hat may try to set themselves apart but it doesn't make much difference when people hear 'hacker' associated with their psn details going missing or their credit card being skimmed or <insert tech related scare monger news story here>. People involved in the 'scene' will realise the difference, the majority wont care. Remember what hacking meant in the 50's and 60's MIT SAIL days, and its difficult not to argue the thinking has gradually gone more towards a definition of stealing and other naughtyness than its original meaning of education and freedom.

Taking your scanning analogy as a starting point, someone who crowbars the coin hopper on a payphone and steals the money is also a phreaker: there in lies the problem. If you want to label yourself in a way then expect the whole definition to apply even if the definition is different to what you think it should be, or what it originally was.

I used to refer to myself as a hacker, then I grew up, got a job and a family and understood the connotations behind the word are not helpful to my life. Im an engineer now, which is easier for my nan to understand and you will never hear about engineers creating a new bank information syphoning trojan. I cant be bothered correcting people's misunderstanding and besides I'd rather talk to people on the appropriate level for the conversation and audience: In a job interview Im an engineer (that may hack things together in the course of my work), in a LUG meet I might use the word hacker without it being misinterpretted.

Which leads to the point that that one of the founders of phreaking was sentenced for fraudulently making calls.

Who? Or are you referring to old news?


Im referring to cptn crunch.

#9 resistor X

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 10:04 AM

I don't think there is a shift in most people's thinking about hacking. I'm definitely not saying hacking is about stealing, but in most people's eyes it is about criminality and that has in no small way been helped by the early phreakers stealing services. White hat, black hat, grey hat is all the same to the genral populus. A white hat may try to set themselves apart but it doesn't make much difference when people hear 'hacker' associated with their psn details going missing or their credit card being skimmed or <insert tech related scare monger news story here>. People involved in the 'scene' will realise the difference, the majority wont care. Remember what hacking meant in the 50's and 60's MIT SAIL days, and its difficult not to argue the thinking has gradually gone more towards a definition of stealing and other naughtyness than its original meaning of education and freedom.

Taking your scanning analogy as a starting point, someone who crowbars the coin hopper on a payphone and steals the money is also a phreaker: there in lies the problem. If you want to label yourself in a way then expect the whole definition to apply even if the definition is different to what you think it should be, or what it originally was.

I used to refer to myself as a hacker, then I grew up, got a job and a family and understood the connotations behind the word are not helpful to my life. Im an engineer now, which is easier for my nan to understand and you will never hear about engineers creating a new bank information syphoning trojan. I cant be bothered correcting people's misunderstanding and besides I'd rather talk to people on the appropriate level for the conversation and audience: In a job interview Im an engineer (that may hack things together in the course of my work), in a LUG meet I might use the word hacker without it being misinterpretted.


Which leads to the point that that one of the founders of phreaking was sentenced for fraudulently making calls.

Who? Or are you referring to old news?


Im referring to cptn crunch.


I can't disagree with what you said.

#10 resistor X

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 10:31 AM

One thing I failed to mention was I was referring to people who don't know what phreaking is and therefore have no bias already on board about thinking it's connected to illegal activities. I would think they'll just read my definition and many won't look any further and thus won't hear about any illegal connection to it. They'll simply think what they read on my page is all there is to it and leave it at that.

In that case it's worth it for me to leave the page there.

People generally haven't heard of phreaking so they may as well get a good definition of it from people like me. And that can make an impact since these same people have no bias already on board about it.

So, what you said fits the hacker situation but not this one because with this most people never heard of the term phreaking, hence they have no bias about it and are thus a clean slate in need of a definition. May as well give it to them, the right way.

The only bias I saw was in the articles on what phreaking is, which is the bias I was referring to in my OP.

Edited by resistor X, 28 October 2011 - 10:55 AM.


#11 dinscurge

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 06:58 AM

yeah looks good :p.

#12 resistor X

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 02:33 PM

Well I kept testing the Goog doc I made and sometimes it's getting stuck loading so I'm switching to making a site. Hopefully that'll solve it.

I'm also changing what I made to make it better and longer. Thanks to nyphonejacks for getting me going about doing more with it. ;) I was too lazy ya know... lol.

I'll post the link when I'm done with it.

#13 resistor X

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 02:42 PM

Here's the link to the new improved phreaking...well, you know...haha.

https://sites.google...hatisphreaking/

This site is still being worked on so..... I'm adding more but keeping what I have so far.

Edited by resistor X, 29 October 2011 - 02:43 PM.


#14 nyphonejacks

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 10:08 PM

nice work... what else you got... lol j/k

#15 Havoc

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 09:07 AM

I can give you a good definition of phreaking, first of all check one in my sig. That's something I 100% agree with. Secondly you can listen to icon of phreaking Decoder himself describing what phreaking is about.

Attached Files


Edited by Havoc, 31 October 2011 - 09:11 AM.


#16 ThoughtPhreaker

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 07:13 PM

Whenever someone asks me what phreaking is, I'm personally almost at a loss as to how to answer them. To me, this is one particular instance where the simpler the answer, the better.

So in a few words, it's about understanding, exploring, and enjoying the network.

#17 dmine45

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 07:40 PM

So in a few words, it's about understanding, exploring, and enjoying the network.


ThoughtPhreaker hit the nail on the head using the fewest words as possible.

To the outsider, phreaking is (or was) making free long distance phone calls. It isn't. It's seeing what the network can do. What are the differences between companies, carriers, switches and types of service (PSTN, VoIP, etc.) Exploring is what makes it fun. If you don't like to explore, it's not for you. Phreaking is not the same as it was 25 years ago. It's constantly evolving and changing, just like the network is changing. And more challenging.

Just wish I had more time to devote to it. :)

#18 ticom

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 05:32 PM

Back when I was a newbie, I considered myself a phreak first, before a hacker. To me, phreaking was about exploring (tele)communications networks to see what you could find. Even when computers and modems got involved, it was still all about learning ins and outs of the network(s).




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