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.
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.
what is a blue box phreaking? Phreaks have always been able to make things go more smoothly and easily. The term was originally coined by Richard Schaefer, head of AT&T's equipment-testing organization.
Among Phreakers, the latest technological technique or gadget to be associated with this description is the Blue Box. Basically, a Blue Box is a keyed telephone switch capable of bypassing the systems of a landline telephone company.
The Blue Box consists of a portable switchboard that is modified to accept input from a telephone receiver, and output to an intercom, modem, or the telephone itself. A special program is loaded on the portable switch that is responsible for the effects of the Blue Box. The program alters the output of the Blue Box so that it turns on the phone and allows it to ring (while placing a message for the recipient that reads "Hoisted with their own petard -- Tales of Phreaking"; examples of the messages used by phreaks to accomplish this are on the "Hood Phreak" and "Subversion of the System" websites).
The Blue Box isn't an ordinary telephone switch; it is built with a special "tape" so that it doesn't cost a thing to use it. Phreakers simply load the tape with a special code that causes the Blue Box to work. If the code is incorrect or insufficient, it won't work.
Phreakers use the Blue Box to manipulate the conventional telephone system. The manipulation is accomplished by sending coded messages to the telephone system's regular dialer. To send a coded message, you need to know the phone number that you wish to contact. You can't just dial the number; you have to know it. Once you know the number, you can use the Blue Box to send a coded message to the telephone company's direct dialer. The operator at the direct dialer then attempts to decipher the message.
Phreakers call this device the Blue Box because it has a blue flashing light on top of it. The light signals to others in the phone company's call system that you have called and that a call has been made. This tells the telephone company operator that the person calling the number is using a device that will cause interference on the telephone lines. The operator, being trained to deal with such interference problems, will then place the call to the desired phone. The caller then has a second set of buttons, those of which may be pushed by the person who made the call, that will disable the interference. The main buttons make the call; a set of secondary buttons can be pressed to activate the interference.
No one else can see what is going on at the switch; it is usually hidden in a secret location. The Blue Box must be used in secret, because it is illegal to use a Blue Box in an area where phones are tapped or in the vicinity of a phone tap. Some operators, however, do not mind if you use a Blue Box to make a call; all you have to do is give them the number before you make the call and they will dial it for you.
The reason Blue Boxes work is that many of the telephone companies' systems are bypassed; they use a standard of operation where all parties are connected to one circuit through the use of a keyed switchboard. The Blue Box works by bypassing this circuit by entering a different circuit. The result is that the telephone lines bypass all switches and circuit breakers. To use the Blue Box, you simply give it a code. Some phreaks use a code that can only be used once; this is called a 10-digit code. Other phreakers, however, can memorize many codes.
It is also possible to build a Blue Box that uses a numeric code. These are more difficult to learn and to enter, and are used primarily by experienced phreaks who want to use their Blue Box in areas that are tapped. Many operators, however, do not care if you use a numeric code because they assume that they have a number that will work.
To use a Blue Box, you need to know the code or combination of codes that will make the Blue Box do its thing. The Blue Box has a logbook in which you can make entries so that others can know what to type in the log to make the Blue Box do its thing.
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