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Answering Machine Hacking

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(Out of curiosity) Does anyone know anything about answering machine hacking? I know a string that enters every possible two digit number.

(12345678987654321357924686429731474193366994488552277539596372582838491817161511026203040506070809001)

If anyone has experience, please leave a reply below.

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Well, I know that sometimes you may get really really lucky and come across an older analogue machine (meaning tape-based [meaning, probably, standard audio cassette for the ICM and reel-to-reel for the announcement]) that uses an SF tone for remote access. No kidding. I have an ancient (mid 1980s) Phone Mate 905 that does that. You'd carry this little box that looks kind of like a period CB radio microphone and emits a tone (around 500 Hz, I think) when you key it up. The idea being that you'd call up your number from your hotel or payphone or wherever, hold the bleeper up to the mouthpiece and throw its tone down the line when the answering machine starts to pick up.

In theory, anyways. On paper those things worked a LOT better than they did in the field, especially with the carbon microphones that were still extremely common back then (Ah fuck it, even on a decent condenser mic, they don't work worth a shit), and offer absolutely nothing as far as security (really, I've been able to grab it just by whistling at the right frequency). Even a 3-digit DTMF sequence is more secure than those old dinosaurs. But the idea was definitely state of the art in its day.

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Well, I know that sometimes you may get really really lucky and come across an older analogue machine (meaning tape-based [meaning, probably, standard audio cassette for the ICM and reel-to-reel for the announcement]) that uses an SF tone for remote access. No kidding. I have an ancient (mid 1980s) Phonemate that does that. You'd carry this little box that looks kind of like a period CB radio microphone and emits a tone (around 500 Hz, I think) when you key it up. The idea being that you'd call up your number from your hotel or payphone or wherever, hold the bleeper up to the mouthpiece and throw its tone down the line when the answering machine starts to pick up.

In theory, anyways. On paper those things worked a LOT better than they did in the field, especially with the carbon microphones that were still extremely common back then (Ah fuck it, even on a decent condenser mic, they don't work worth a shit), and offer absolutely nothing as far as security (really, I've been able to grab it just by whistling at the right frequency). Even a 3-digit DTMF sequence is more secure than those old dinosaurs. But the idea was definitely state of the art in its day.

Thanks for the post, once you emit the sf tone (with the tone generator) what was the remote access like? Was it similar to todays? Also, thanks for the info on the 500hz tone,  I am currently programming a TRS-80 model 100 software that emits different phreaking tones, if you are interested, post here  http://www.binrev.com/forums/index.php/topic/47326-single-frequency-phreaking-tones/

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I remember my father had an analog answering machine in the 80's. It came with a little back box about the size of a small pack of smokes with a button. You held the button up to the phone and it would control the our home answering machine.

 

It had different beep combinations to rewind, playback, play first messages, etc.. You;d need to consult an owner's manual for each device I think.

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I remember my father had an analog answering machine in the 80's. It came with a little back box about the size of a small pack of smokes with a button. You held the button up to the phone and it would control the our home answering machine.

 

It had different beep combinations to rewind, playback, play first messages, etc.. You;d need to consult an owner's manual for each device I think.

Thats pretty interesting! Do you know what kind of answering machine?  If you had the black box, could you control other answering machines of the same model? Thanks for the post!

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Not sure about other devices. It was one of the very first to come out. I was about 4 years old. LoL

 

 

I think it was this one: http://thumbs4.ebaystatic.com/d/l225/m/mN346i0p3pbGZZHUbt6PcjA.jpg

 

That should help you find what you're looking for. I'm guessing it might. I mean it was over a POTS phone system in the 80's. All they could really do was slightly randomize the tone in the frequency? Right?  Maybe I'm missing something.. I'm not thinking there was any authentication that was not default or the user could even change.

 

It was Radio Shack branded. The remote was black, plastic, about the size of a small pack of smokes, and one corner was squared with a button. IT had a speaker on the side the user held to a receiver of the remote phone. It was pretty high-tech in the mid-80's.

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It had different beep combinations to rewind, playback, play first messages, etc.. You'd need to consult an owner's manual for each device I think.

Whoa. That was a fancy one, then (nice). Mine just has the one tone for "play" and "stop" is indicated by hanging up on the thing. Unbelievably primitive, but it set dad back almost $400 post-divestiture plus a drive into Portland to the local Jafco to get the thing, yet, for mother's christmas present.

So far the only thing I've had to replace was a rotten belt on the cassette side, though I'm sure the electrolytics cound stand to be changed-out one of these days.

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Jafco was awesome. I spent many nights there playing Intellevision and Atari there. It was like the arcade but free. :-)

 

 

My dad was pretty high-tech back in the 80's he had a Northstar Horizon, even. 

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