Abstruse

How DATUs work

31 posts in this topic

You know how a lot of people say "for informational purposes only" to try to get out of posting how to do illegal stuff? Well, in this case it's true. I'm working on the script to a short film that requires the main character to knock out the phone service to a specific area without raising a lot of alarm bells (IE just blowing up the switch or trunk or whatever).

Now, I recall someone mentioning that a DATU is used by the phone company to cut service to a line or multiple lines for testing purposes. If someone uses a DATU, they could do this as well for possibly (and in the case of the character, definately) nefarious purposes. So my question is how exactly does it work? Not asking for step-by-step directions after which I could run out and do it myself. I have no desire to do that. It's just that my films tend to stray into areas of fantasy (ghosts, vampires, etc.) and I try to keep everything else going on as realistic as possible to help the audience buy the fantasy bits.

The way I have it scripted, the character is dials a number and after a second or two, starts punching in keys on the cell phone. I also have him using a prepaid cell phone. I don't go into much detail about it or anything, and I'm not even sure I mentioned exactly how he did it in the script, but I want to make sure I'm doing it right. If you have any better suggestions, that would be helpful as well. Just so that it will knock out telephone service to an area of about 2-3 square blocks. You can PM me if you don't want to post it. Thanks in advance.

The Abstruse One

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Knock out service to a block? Unfortunately (for your plot) DATUs work on a single pair at a time, and there are typically only one or two DATU units (each with its own dialup number) per CO, so there's no obvious and direct way to use one to disrupt service to more than one POTS line at a time.

The basic way they work is this: you dial the number of one of the DATU units in the CO of the target line (this can be done from any phone, including a cell phone -- unlike some tests, it doesn't have to be done from a line in the same CO). You enter a DTMF passcode (often the factory default) and get a voice menu. Menu options include things like putting a 577.5Hz trace tone on a line (harmless), monitoring the line audio (but it's scrambled), disconnecting battery (which interrupts service), shorting the line (ditto), etc. Most of the tests end as soon as you hang up the DATU connection, although some of the disconnect/short tests can be set up to linger for a few minutes afterward.

But you can't take out multiple pairs with it. You might be able to knock out a PRI T1 (with 24 lines) to a PBX if you know the circuit number of the pair, but many DATUs are configured to work only on standard POTS lines and BRI ISDN lines.

Edited by albertterego
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I remember an article in Phrack 52 that spoke about DATU's. I checked it out and it's called "Voice Response Systems".

Also these philes on nettwerked:

http://www.nettwerked.net/datu.txt

http://www.nettwerked.net/datu_guide.txt

Verizon test card:

http://artofhacking.com/cgi-bin/wwfs/wwfs....LE=VERIZO~1.JPG

http://www.phreaksandgeeks.com/text/datu2.txt

http://www.phreaksandgeeks.com/text/datu_paper.txt

ppm # 2&3

http://web.textfiles.com/ezines/MISC/ppm02.txt

http://web.textfiles.com/ezines/MISC/ppm03.txt

not exactly what you asked for, but they will help hopefully. I am not sure if entire blocks could really be affected though. HTH.

EDIT:I just moved from the Westchester/Fairfield County line to FL, and low and behold my mother in laws property abuts Harris's. :)

Edited by Evolve
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DATUs work on a single pair at a time, and there are typically only one or two DATU units (each with its own dialup number) per CO, so there's no obvious and direct way to use one to disrupt service to more than one POTS line at a time.

use a blotto box! :)

or do you want it to be realistic?

Edited by TelcoBob
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DATUs work on a single pair at a time, and there are typically only one or two DATU units (each with its own dialup number) per CO, so there's no obvious and direct way to use one to disrupt service to more than one POTS line at a time.

use a blotto box! :)

or do you want it to be realistic?

Ohh Jesus!!!! Lord Help the Innocent! :grr:

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Physically break into the switching room and remove the exchange at a console. Or, if there's a local dialup or wireless network serving the telco, call up the switch and change it remotely.

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It needs to be realistic, take out the radius in which someone might call the cops in a suburban neighborhood if they heard a gunshot, and it has to be something that in and of itself wouldn't raise any alarms for at least half an hour. In other words, if yanking wires out of the box would cause the phone company to send out a repairman within a few minutes or so, then he wouldn't do it.

Here's the setup. A professional hitman is entering a home to kill two people. He's using a handgun and wants to delay the arrival of the police until he is out of the area. So he would need the phone lines down for at least enough time to enter the home, kill the two people (in the same room), and be at least a mile from the scene before anyone arrives.

Any advice would be appreciated. This isn't a major plot point or anything, it'll just be glossed over...but I want it realistic...I mean I've thrown in lots of little stuff no one will probably notice (the hitman running a file over the barrel of the gun, destroying the prepaid cell phone, etc.) Thanks for the help and anything else you guys can do...

The Abstruse One

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Have him use a silencer, disconnect the targets phone, and phone in a distraction. A call to 911 about a gang fight with multiple stabbings in an alley about two miles away should do it.

Have him disconnect the battery like in albertterego's post, and do some of the other things like I said. Even a couple more little things you can think of. It will satisfy the technological edge you want to give it. Also, if you can make them all happen and keep the pace up plot wise, it will give your character a very efficient, intelligent appearance.

Just an idea, hope it helps. :)

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Have him use a silencer, disconnect the targets phone, and phone in a distraction. A call to 911 about a gang fight with multiple stabbings in an alley about two miles away should do it.

Have him disconnect the battery like in albertterego's post, and do some of the other things like I said. Even a couple more little things you can think of. It will satisfy the technological edge you want to give it. Also, if you can make them all happen and keep the pace up plot wise, it will give your character a very efficient, intelligent appearance.

Just an idea, hope it helps. :)

This is not gonna be very realistic because you all have no clue as to how to do any of this stuff with a real datu, so how are you going to fake it on film! No disrespect, but let the whole Datu talk on this whole Forum site die!

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I believe that's why he's asking, Majestic.

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It needs to be realistic, take out the radius in which someone might call the cops in a suburban neighborhood if they heard a gunshot, and it has to be something that in and of itself wouldn't raise any alarms for at least half an hour.  In other words, if yanking wires out of the box would cause the phone company to send out a repairman within a few minutes or so, then he wouldn't do it.

Here's the setup.  A professional hitman is entering a home to kill two people.  He's using a handgun and wants to delay the arrival of the police until he is out of the area.  So he would need the phone lines down for at least enough time to enter the home, kill the two people (in the same room), and be at least a mile from the scene before anyone arrives.

Any advice would be appreciated.  This isn't a major plot point or anything, it'll just be glossed over...but I want it realistic...I mean I've thrown in lots of little stuff no one will probably notice (the hitman running a file over the barrel of the gun, destroying the prepaid cell phone, etc.)  Thanks for the help and anything else you guys can do...

The Abstruse One

I'm not aware of any way to take down a whole CO or neighborhood entirely with a dialup, DATU or not. All the ideas I can come up with would involve a human in the loop being asked to do something not ordinarily part of their job, and it would take a combination of some very, very convincing social engineering PLUS some enormously gullible and stupid people at the CO for it to have any chance of working. One line, sure (use the DATU), a few lines, maybe (put in a bogus order to have pairs switched around and wait for it to be carried out), but a whole neighboorhood? Nothing I can think could reasonably be expected to succeed.

However, even in the glory days of the Bell System, no phone company on the planet would dispatch repair "within a few minutes" in response to local loops being taken out. The only way they'd even find out about it is after people call and complain (on what phones?) that their home phones don't work. And then they send someone out in the day or two. (Taking out an interexchange trunk might provoke a faster response, but even then not in a few minutes).

So I agree the most plausable way to take out all the (wireline) phone service to a neighborhood is to forget the DATU or other automated means and just rip out all the crossconnect wires from the local F0/F1 can. They're easy to open and easy to find, and a clipboard and hardhat would provide more than enough of a disguise for the few minutes (at most) that would be required. But that only disconnects the local TELCO lines. You'd still have to worry about cell phones (unless all the local cell sites in range were also served by the same box, unlikely) and cable modems with VOIP/HFC systems, etc. So to be thorough you'd have to also take down the local cell sites, and maybe kill the power at the local cable headend. This is getting complicated...

A.T.

Edited by albertterego
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I believe that's why he's asking, Majestic.

I guess people will never learn, ohh well .. do your movie and have fun!

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Majestic,

What is your problem with this discussion? He asked if something could be done a certain way, and people are having what is, as far as I can tell, a well-informed conversation about how to make it more realistic and plausible. And all you've added is a vauge comment about how no one here knows what they are talking about.

Of course, if it will help, I'll concede that your penis must be much longer than mine.

A.T.

Edited by albertterego
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Majestic,

What is your problem with this discussion? He asked if something could be done a certain way, and people are having what is, as far as I can tell, a well-informed conversation about how to make it more realistic and plausible.  And all you've added is a vauge comment about how no one here knows what they are talking about.

Of course, if it will help, I'll concende that your penis must be much longer than mine.

A.T.

That means I am doing my job!

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Maybe the hitman kills the people before they can get to the phone?

By the way, majestic, congrats on the new sig. :D

Edited by unity
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This is not gonna be very realistic because you all have no clue as to how to do any of this stuff with a real datu, so how are you going to fake it on film!  No disrespect, but let the whole Datu talk on this whole Forum site die!

Majestic, if you aren't going to contribute, please sit down and STFU.

I'm not going to talk about DATUs, as it's still a subject that I wouldn't touch with a 10' pole. But people are welcome to talk about it.

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Datu's is not the solution for your problem, mate. End of story.

Edited by unity
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This is not gonna be very realistic because you all have no clue as to how to do any of this stuff with a real datu, so how are you going to fake it on film!  No disrespect, but let the whole Datu talk on this whole Forum site die!

Majestic, if you aren't going to contribute, please sit down and STFU.

I'm not going to talk about DATUs, as it's still a subject that I wouldn't touch with a 10' pole. But people are welcome to talk about it.

Really? So when did discussing datu systems on these forums become o.k?

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Really? So when did discussing datu systems on these forums become o.k?

You CAN talk about it all you want.

It's just:

1. Stupid

B. Stupid

III. Stupid

Don't expect many people to discuss it with you either. Also, don't be suprised if the mods scrutinize your post a little more.

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Reason for stupidity:

Possible lawsuits, and datu's can't accomplish everything people think they can.

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Apparently, we've established that a DATU will not do what I need it to do for the short film. Okay, so no more reason to discuss DATUs. I am still curious if there's a quick and easy way to knock out the phone service to an area of about three blocks or so. VOIP isn't common enough yet to worry about and people don't tend to go for their cell phones to dial 911, so I'm not worried about them either.

I don't care how you work a DATU. I don't want a number for one, or a password, or anything like that. I have no desire to actually use one, I just want to know enough to make it look realistic on film. Just like how I know in general terms how to make a fertilizer bomb, but I couldn't ACTUALLY make one even if you handed me all the ingredients and a manual. I just wanted to know how one worked in general terms. I've learned all I need to know for this script. DATUs only work on single lines or possibly a few lines, not large areas. Therefore, I don't need to know anything else about them. So hopefully that ends THAT part of the argument.

However, I still need another options if anyone can help. Someone mentioned knocking out the local loop. Would it need to be anything more complex than snipping a few wires at the nice little aluminum-framed box sitting on the corner (don't tell me WHAT cables to cut though), or would I need to do something like drive a car into it? I'm going for fast and subtle...and preferably remote. Again, any ideas are greatly appreciated.

The Abstruse One

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