(All information in this node comes from articles by "The Jolly Roger
" in "The Anarchist's Cookbook
", Version 2000)
A Phreak would best be described as a sort of telephone hacker. Phreaking started around 1964 at MIT, where students had discovered that a 2600hz tone was all that was needed to make free phone (or in phreak lingo, "fone") calls to anyplace in the world. The tone was either recorded and held to the mouthpiece of a telephone, or a special "Blue Box" was used, a device that could generate the 2600hz. One would call a toll free 800 number, play the tone and was able to dial any number in the world - free of charge. Famous Phreaks were Joe Engressia (who could whistle a perfect 2600hz) and Capn Crunch (who used a toy whistle) for example. Until the early 80's, phreaking was more of an underground movement. After the movie "War Games", BBS's were flooded by phreaking and hacking wannabe's. Today, increased telephone and computer security standards make it near impossible to use the old Blue Box method on telephones, and offenders are caught easily. The classic "Phreak" has thus sadly died out.