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A blue box is one of the oldest tools used in phreaking and it comes in the form of an electronic type of apparatus. It was named as such due to the evidence that was first discovered by the Bell System security, which was actually a blue plastic. Blue box functions in such a way that it creates a copy of the sound that is produced by the dialing console of a telephone operator.
The feature of a blue box includes the imitation of the tones that are utilized in swapping the long distance calls. In addition, this ancient phreaking tool is also employed in routing a substituted call with the call being made by the user of the blue box. Hence, the usual procedure of call switching may be circumvented with the use of this phreaking apparatus.
There are various forms of tools used by the phreaks and each has its own unique purpose. According to the experts in phreaking, the most common use of this blue box is to make free phone calls. On the other hand, the other phreaking tool black box allows an individual to accept free calls that are made by the person on the other end of the line.
As of the present times, however, the blue box is not anymore used in most of the countries in the western part of the world. This is due to the modified process applied on the present switching systems when calls are being made. Telecommunication companies shifted from the in-band signaling, which can be simulated by the blue box, to the more advanced digital switching systems.
Signaling takes place today on an out-of-band channel, which is not similar in any way to the one being used by companies during the previous years. Out-of-band channel differ since this can never be accessed through the line being utilized by a specific caller. This is known to be as the Common Channel Interoffice Signaling or CCIS.