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#116080 11/16/03 07:12 PM
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what does phreaking mean?


#116081 11/16/03 07:20 PM
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About fifty years ago, the s.o.b.s who now write computer viruses specialized in tricking the pay phones circuits into thinking coins had been dropped, when they had not
They called themselves 'phone phreaks'.

Here's a URL about it:
http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,36309,00.html


#116082 12/08/03 05:51 PM
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Hmmm. Yes, phone phreaking was where Steve Jobs got his start in life. Then he graduated to stealing intellectual property from Xerox, and the rest is history.

But "phreaking" is now almost synonymous with "hacking". Times change, and so do the meanings of neologisms!


#116083 12/14/03 03:47 PM
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And Neal Stephenson used the word numerous times in his Cryptonomicon, to describe the practice of extracting from a distance what was being displayed on a computer monitor by analyzing the microradiation it emitted.

"von Eck phreaking," he called it, with enough a sense of everyone-knows-that to make you wonder whether it really was a well-established phenomenon. Or at least a potential (though as-yet-unrealized) one.


EDIT: Memory is indeed fallible. Should have been van Eck. Thanks, Bill !
12/14/2003 4:17 pm EST

#116084 12/14/03 06:01 PM
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In reply to:

the practice of extracting from a distance what was being displayed on a computer monitor by analyzing the microradiation it emitted.

"von Eck phreaking,"




I hadn't realised that this was called phreaking, but the practice is well-established, to the extent that many treatises and tools dedicated to countering it exist.


#116085 12/14/03 07:19 PM
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with enough a sense of everyone-knows-that

In the old days science fiction writers felt obliged to explain the far-out technologies they invented:

"You know, of course, my dear Throckmorton, that when you move that lever to the upper position it completes an electrical circuit that allows current to flow through a thread in the evacuated bulb, causing it to glow with the light that has replaced the gas flame of your parents."

Modern readers of science-fiction have become better able to fill in the gaps themselves:

"He slipped the cube in the upreader of his comppack and reviewed the case."

This is not to suggest that von Eck phreaking is not presently tchnologically possible, merely that one need not infer its present existence from casual mentions in a Neal Stephenson novel.


#116086 12/14/03 07:40 PM
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this week's magazine section of the NYTimes, points out there are now 'road side' billboards that can detect and aggrigate what station is most commonly being 'tuned' into by the cars passing by on the road (so early commuters might be older/young and might have different make different choices.. and just a latter or midday travelers on the road might have a different (average)demographic-- and the billboard responds by 'changing' which ad is displayed.

the billboard 'knows' what is being listened to-- because the billboard 'listens' to the radio ways (very weak ones) emited just by tuning in to a station!)and it can detect them going in cars going by at 88 feet a second or so, several hundred feet away!

how much easier it must be to tune into the emmisions from a computer monitor that is rarely or never moved!



#116087 12/14/03 07:59 PM
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Dear of troy I remember reading about stealing company secrets by monitoring emissions from Computer screens.
I searched for "computer security monitor emissions" and found several sites about it.


#116088 12/14/03 08:15 PM
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And just so as not to perpetuate my inadvertent error -- it's VAN Eck, not von Eck. Mea culpa.


#116089 12/15/03 12:55 AM
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Here's a link from two days ago on the subject (!). Still I don't see whether it's a real, implemented technique or just a hypothetical one...
http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0,289893,sid9_gci550525,00.html

I note that while a) it comes from a rather overwhelming site for geek jargon, some highly technical, b) there are also links to some other interesting sites, like this one for Jonathan Swift-ian terms:
http://www.jaffebros.com/lee/gulliver/dict/b.html#bigend


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