Wednesday, June 29, 2005


A story of three blind mice who were not very nice...well, being nice isn't everything.
[Three blind brothers] pulled off Mamet-worthy phone cons, employing cell phones, Braille-display computers, ace code-writing skills, and an uncanny ability to impersonate anyone from corporate suits to sex-starved females. [...]
The phone phreakers' term for this is social engineering: using a combination of brains and guile to obtain codes for trespassing into systems to rejigger them via strings of touch-tone code. Combine this talent with supersensitive hearing - the brothers can dissect an international connection the way wine expert Robert Parker pulls notes from a glass of Bordeaux - and you have what BernieS, a legendary phreaker and contributor to the hacking journal 2600, calls "a formidable skill set."

At one point during my visit with the Badirs, I pull out my cell phone and make a call. Before it even connects, Shadde, who is sitting across the room, recites all 12 digits perfectly.

Ramy smiles at the parlor trick. "It used to be disgusting to be blind," he says. "Today, you scare people. You possess skills that those with sight cannot possibly understand."

A small-time hack:

The most popular hack, which works on most models, is the "Instant Walk." Three short clicks, followed by two long, one short, two long, and three short; turn [virtually] any crosswalk signal from "don't walk" to "walk" with a matching change in the traffic signals.

There are other hacks because it is all just machines. But I wouldn't know all that much about these things. I am just a simple fellow.

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