A few famous "Phone Phreaks"
- Joe Engressia - a.k.a "The Whistler" - The original phreaker,
Joe Engressia was born blind, and (somehow!) acquired the ability to whistle
any tone. He discovered phreaking by accident, by calling unconnected numbers
and whistling back at the tone. Whenever he did so, he was quickly cut off,
so he called AT&T, where a helpful employee explained the operation of the
legendary 2600 Hz tone.
- Steve Jobs & Steve Wozniak - The founders of Apple computer spent their
college years making and selling blue boxes (see above!) to the collegiate
- John T. Draper - a.k.a., Cap'n Crunch - The father and elite legend of
hackerdom, Draper acquired the nickname "Cap'n Crunch" in 1971 after discovering
that the whistles packaged with Cap'n Crunch cereal produced a perfect 2600
Hz tone. His discovery brought phreaking (and the hacking mindset) into the public eye.
- Kevin Mitnick - First hacker to appear on the FBI's 10 most wanted list. In his teens, he was a member of the Roscoe Gang, which performed extremely humorous pranks with phreaking talents. Switching home phones to require a 25 cent deposit, or seizing 411 numbers and giving ridiculous information (Yes, that number is 8750 and a half.)
- Abbie Hoffman - founded the Youth International Party Line newletter (later renamed Technical Assistance Program) to teach telephone fraud to the Yippie movement.
Types of "Blue box
es", and what they allow a phreaker to do: