Phreaking is a particular type of hacking or cracking directed against the telephone system. Phreakers use different kinds of technology to cheat the telephone system to make free long-distance calls, to modify the function of telephone service, to steal specific services, and also to cause service interruptions.
Some phreaker tools are real devices, whereas others are just special methods of using a normal telephone. No matter what the tool or technology really is, phreaker tools are pointed to as colored boxes (black box, red box, etc.). For many years, there have been many box technologies that were developed and extensively used by phreakers, but only a few of them still work against today’s telephone systems based on packet-switching.
Here are some of the phreaker tools:
– Black boxes are used to doctrinaire line voltages to steal long-distance services.
– Red boxes are used to imitate tones of coins being deposited into a pay phone.
– Blue boxes are used to mimic 2600Hz tones to communicate directly with telephone network trunk systems.
Cell phone security is an increasing concern. Captured electronic serial numbers (ESNs) and mobile identification numbers (MINs) can be copied into blank phones to produce clones and when a clone is used, the charges are billed to the primary owner’s cell phone account.