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


#116081 - 11/16/03 07:20 PM Re: phreaking  
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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 Re: phreaking  
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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 Phreaking out  
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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 Re: Phreaking out  
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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 Re: Von Eck Phreaking out  
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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 Re: Von Eck Phreaking out  
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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 Re: Von Eck Phreaking out  
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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 Correction, please  
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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 since1985, no less!  
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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


#116090 - 12/15/03 01:03 AM Re: since1985, no less!  
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the gas flame of your parents?



formerly known as etaoin...
#116091 - 12/15/03 01:07 AM In the immortal words of Major Hoople...  
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"Fap! (sputter)"


#116092 - 01/07/04 04:34 PM Re: since1985, no less!  
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From Bill's original link, positing another variant of phreaking of converging IP phone systems:

Cooper thinks it could be taken further. He said he believes it's possible to plant a Melissa-type virus into a phone system, causing messages to be sent out to everyone else who is listed in your speed dial, or perhaps to everyone in your office. He also thinks that voicemail could be sent as a .wav attachment to your email address list.

"We have all seen the power of VBS scripts lately. A script can easily be written to exploit all of the functionality of these converging technologies."

Cooper also said he wonders if an attack could be mounted by leaving a carefully constructed voice message in someone's voicemail box, "then phreak/hacking the voicemail box to propagate the message to everyone's voicemail box in the local PBX, then have each IP phone automatically place a call to a 1-800 service number, where the message would prompt through an automated answering system -- sort of a phoneBot, you know ... 'Say or press 1' -- and essentially create a denial-of-service attack against a call center."

"Again, this is possible, but not plausible," Valiant said. "Why would you bother? No one would...."


D'uh! Ifn you have the wits to do that, all you gotta do is set up a chargeable number in say Honduras, get all the phones in the hijacked system calling it, and retire to somewhere with no extradition laws... That's the trouble with techies, no market savvy! :)



#116093 - 01/08/04 10:29 PM Re: since1985, no less!  
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...He also thinks that voicemail could be sent as a .wav attachment to your email address list.

I do it now! Who needs a phone?

Why would an IP phone run VBS anyway??? [eg]



#116094 - 01/14/04 11:36 PM Re: phreaking  
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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.

While I am no fan of Mr Jobs. Apple did go to the trouble of licensing the technology in question from Xerox. The real crime was that Xerox gave it away for a pitance. Anyway, the more talented of the Steves, (i.e, Woz) built the blue boxes. Jobs sold them in the dorms at Cal.


#116095 - 01/15/04 08:55 PM Re: phreaking  
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Yes, you're right, of course. Apple did. Eventually.


#116096 - 01/15/04 09:04 PM Re: phreaking  
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Too bad Woz isn't what he usta woz.


#116097 - 01/19/04 04:01 PM Re: phreaking  
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I knew a detective once who said he had equipment he could set up one block from anyone's house and detect what was being written on a computer. This has been about four years ago. He said that the only way he would not be able to detect whatever information he wanted to access was if the structure enclosing the room with the computer was made of some special kind of material. This detecting process was one he used regularly.


#116098 - 01/19/04 04:45 PM Re: phreaking  
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Dear WW: I posted a while back about commercial espionage,
in which emissions of monitor through a window could be
used to learn a competitor's secrets. The article I read said that effective curtains on windows were sufficient
protection.

From the Internet:
"Across the darkened street, a windowless van is parked. Inside, an antenna is pointed out through a fiberglass panel. It's aimed at an office window on the third floor. As the CEO works on a word processing document, outlining his strategy for a hostile take-over of a competitor, he never knows what appears on his monitor is being captured, displayed, and recorded in the van below."


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