PLA Issue #32

Completed On June 21, 1995

  • Introduction - RedBoxChiliPepper
  • RiGHT BRiGADE - by Lokust
  • Customer Name & Address - by RBCP
  • A B C's - by Colleen Card
  • Ode To Deter - by Martini
  • Phone Losers Of America Headline News

    Introduction by RedBoxChiliPepper

    Not a whole lot has happened since the last issue, not that anything ever
    really does. This issue, like the others, will be small, meaningless and as
    usual, a total waste of hard drive space. I was going to list all of the
    Customer Name & Location numbers in the United
    States in this issue but my eighty hour work week
    prevented me from getting anything done so instead
    I wrote some simple instructions to show you how to
    get the damned numbers yourself. Besides, in the
    middle of playing with the CN/Ls I discovered FACS
    (otherwise known as NOC, I think) and that's a hell
    of a lot more interesting anyways. I typed out a
    few news articles from the local paper that I
    thought were interesting, no fake news this time,
    sorry. I once again proved how stupid Circle K employees are (to the DefCon
    Voice Bridge audience) by convincing one of the night shift employees about a
    virus in their credit card system. Unfortunately I didn't tape it, so here's a
    brief, edited transcript from what I can remember:

    LR: Circle K, this is Larry.
    ME: Hi, this is John from Visa, did you get our fax concerning the virus?
    LR: Uhhhh, no we don't have a fax machine here.
    ME: Hmmmmmm, that's probably why you didn't get the fax. Well, did your
    manager tell you what to do about the virus?
    LR: (Meanwhile he's yelling at some kids and telling them that they're not
    allowed in the store...) I'm sorry about that, typical night at Circle K!
    No, I don't know what you're talking about.
    ME: Okay, let me explain. There's a major virus going through the Visa/Master-
    card network and you need to disconnect your credit card machine before
    the virus gets to you. So far it hasn't got to Corpus Christi but you need
    to unhook your machine before it gets to you.

    (After a bit more convincing...)

    LR: Okay, so you want me to unhook the credit card machine from the phone?
    ME: Yes, you have to unhook the phone lines, serial cable and power cable from
    the POS. And you have to take the machine and set it far away from the
    phone lines just to make sure because the virus is airborn. (I had watched
    the movie "Outbreak" the day before...)

    It ended up with him finally disconnecting the machine and setting it on the
    opposite counter next to the sink, away from the phone lines. The next morning
    we called his manager and asked, "You don't base your hiring decisions on their
    intelligence, eh?" And ended up getting hung up on. If you'd like to say, "hi"
    to Larry the Night Man, he works at the Circle K on Staples in Corpus C, TX.

    I also convinced an AM/PM to flip a certain switch on his Arcomatic (tm) that
    shut off his only register during a rush of customers until his manager could
    come to the store and reset the computer. You may be asking yourself, "What
    exactly are you trying to accomplish, RedBoxChiliPepper?" Well, if you figure
    out an answer to that question, please e-mail me with an answer ASAP.

    Be sure to shoplift the July 1995 Super Special of MAD Magazine at a news stand
    near you. Besides the collector O.J. Simpson pog stickers they have, there's
    a movie spoof of War Games called "Warped Games." Not the best movie spoof
    they've ever done but hey, it's War Games, dammit. Professor Falken wears a
    pair of fake glasses/nose/mustauch for his "new identity" and the pheds wear
    jackets that have "I've got my FBI on you!" printed on the backs.

    In a few weeks I'm going to be releasing a file called PLA95SUM.ZIP which is
    going to be a large telephone directory containing pay phones, voice mails,
    phone company newslines, data lines, businesses, phone company access numbers
    and other interesting numbers to call. It started out from
    PLA007.TXT but I
    took out the disconnected and changed numbers and added in a lot of new
    numbers. Still, it's lacking in size and I need a LOT of new numbers to put in
    there. This fone directory is going to be edited and updated quarterly so
    please send me your obscure numbers for me to publish and I'll try and get 'em
    in the first release. Now, I bring you Lokust...

    RiGHT BRiGADE - by Lokust (May 18, 1995)

    This text file has one purpose:
    To educate the populace on some of today's fallacies of the software
    "piracy" situation.

    In today's world, there is increasing security on computer networks, servers,
    and systems in general, but in specific, on computer software. Talk to a
    computer teacher and most likely they will tell you about the "evils of
    software piracy." You, being a dealer / end user of warez, aka "pirated"
    software, are meant to be guilty about the distribution and use of unauthorized
    copies of this software. This however, is not valid.

    I consider myself a reasonably moral person, as well as a Christian. But
    this does not stop me from "pirating" software. That is because it is not
    "piracy". This is a term created by the federal government in the early
    1980's as a way to spread negative propaganda.

    Laws and the enforcement of laws against software "piracy" began in 1983,
    with the "Computer Act of 1983". Unfortunately however, this bill made a
    common mistake made by the government and our law makers- they made it illegal
    too late. It is a fair comparison to compare the C.A. of 1983 with the
    prohibition of alcoholic beverages in the 1920's. Software "piracy" had
    already become the norm in the U.S. and around the world. But in an effort
    to look worldly-minded and sophisticated, the nation's law makers decided this
    bill could make them popular. This did not happen. I don't know who wrote the
    bill, but I heard they lost their next election.

    But there is another problem with the legislation passed in the US in the
    early 80's and the bills passed later in the respective 50 states. They
    assume that the copying of software causes damage to the software owner. They
    assumed that software owners cared about the monetary value of software. But
    end users rarely re-sell software, and we all know that the value of software
    is what we think about it. If I like a game, such as Interplay's Descent, and
    I have an illegal copy, but I think its worth the $50, I would, (if I had the
    $$) go buy it to support the authors. This does not happen in my case because
    I am very poor ( I had to steal my 486 fer Christ's sake, but that's a yarn
    for RB-002!). However I don't believe it is fair to pay $50 for some game,
    and found out its worth the disks it was sold on! This is an unreasonable
    obligation of the end user. If you were going to buy a car, you'd take it for
    a test drive first, right?! The same with software. I think if you are going
    to get a game, you should try it out before you have to dish out your (or your
    parents') hard earned money!

    But's there another side. What of the person, such as myself, who has a
    limited income and can't afford to buy to support games' authors? Simple. This
    person is to be supported by couriers and groups. It is unfair to deny a
    person enjoyment of his/her computer just because he/she is poor. That is why
    software "piracy" should be renamed. We are not pirates. This is software
    "liberation". And we are software liberators. Everyone at some point, the
    government included, has pirated some software. The laws are so rigid, its
    impossible not to. The cost required to maintain the FBI are enormous- and a
    fair amount of this comes from the costs of the investigation and prosecution
    of the computer crimes division. The government is wasting our hard-earned
    tax dollars on prosecuting software liberators.

    But why the fragmented system of warez groups, couriers, etc. that now swarm
    the U.S.? The seemingly strange system of groups that exist justt produce
    software to the public is exceedingly simple if you view it from the angle of
    politics. A Communist system to warez might be to unite all the groups under
    one, which might work, but the internal strife would be terrible, and
    complacency and lack of competition would make the quality decline. An
    Anarchist system to warez would have each BBS, and each person personally
    producing their own warez. This would mean tons of competition, but no
    organization. Warez would be localized. Therefore, our Capitalist system to
    warez is necessary. The high competition of the groups produces the best
    warez in the world, and the structure provides organization to make the warez
    universal.

    Had to get this stuph off my mind. But a little bout
    me and my strange ideas. I'm 16, I go to a Catholic
    high school, although I'm an Episcopalian. I consider
    myself a phone phreak, a robber, and a software
    liberator. I am a staunch Republican who supports the
    congress on all issues except these electronic act bills.
    I am in several warez groups and I know the feeling you
    get when you buy something that just wasn't worth it.
    Anywayz, So I started the RiGHT BRiGADE as a means of
    voicing my opinions of important topics such as this.
    I run a board, but because of rising security, I don't
    give out the #.

    I can be reached at [email protected], [email protected], or on Wombat
    Communications 512.883.7543. On the iRC, look for me under the name of Lokust or Locust.
    I am with ADR and SFD. Thanx for listening!

    LOKi aka Lokust

    [AC:512, Texas]

    Customer Name & Address - by RBCP

    I recently started playing around a little with the CN/A numbers and compiled
    an extremely small list of them.

    CN/A Listing For Phone Company Use:
    214-744-9500 These two seem to cover the entire Southwestern Bell territory.
    214-745-7505 They're fully automated, give as many numbers per call as you
    want and require a six digit pin number. Only open 9-5, though.
    612-663-1765 U.S. West. Covers western United States
    217-789-8290 Ameritech. Covers Illinois, Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin.

    I was kind of surprised at all the changes that have been made to CN/A since I
    last played with them. They no longer give the address, just the number. And
    if the number is unlisted, forget it. They won't give it to you. You have to
    have your "supervisor" call in with his/her code and get the unlisted numbers.
    In MY day... well anyway, I also found that in a few states they have "public
    access" CN/A numbers where anyone can call in and get the name off of a number.
    These work sort of like a 976 or 900 number where the person using it gets
    billed. (Unless they know a way around that, of course...)

    In all the other CN/A files I've ever come accross I've yet to see one that
    shows you how to get the number yourself in case the one listed were to go
    dead so if any of these numbers that I've listed go out of service or you'd
    just like to get some CN/A numbers yourself for fun, here's how I go about
    doing it...

    Call up any telephone company billing office. I usually go for U.S.West (1-800
    244-1111) because they seem to be well staffed and you don't have to wait
    forever to talk to an operator. But any billing office should work. It's
    probably easiest to call the one for the area you want a CN/A number on. Once
    you get the operator, the conversation goes something like this:

    OP: "U.S.West, may I help you?"
    ME: "Hi, could I have the CN/A number for that area?"
    OP: "The what??"
    ME: "The Customer Name & Address for the 602 (or whatever) area..."
    OP: "Oh! Could I ask who's calling?"
    ME: "This is Bill with Southwestern Bell in Dallas."
    OP: "Well, if you work for Southwestern Bell, it should be in your handbook."
    ME: "Yes, I have the number in my handbook along with my pin code but the
    number seems to have been disconnected."
    OP: "Okay, let me see here..."

    Now that's a worst-case senerio. Usually, they'll just give it to you after
    you tell them that you work for Bell. Most of the time they don't even know
    what a CN/A (or CN/L) is and you have to explain to them that they need to
    look in their handbook. If they refuse to give it to you, say "Thank You",
    hang up and call back. I've only been denied a few times.

    Also, you can ask them for a CN/A out of their area. They have a whole list of
    them in their manual. (The most common use for them is to find out who owns
    numbers that myteriously appear on a calling card victim's bill.)

    Getting A Code:
    Usually, most CN/As will be totally useless unless you have a valid code to
    give the CN/A lady. Codes are a little harder to get. It seems that for some
    reason the operators have all been warned never to give out their code to
    anyone. (I can't imagine why, though...) Any phone company office should have
    a code so you can call any of them. Easiest would probably be the billing
    offices. I noticed that they're rather gullible up in the North & South Dakota
    areas. So since I'm not going to publish the codes, of course, here's how to
    get them yourself. Call the billing office and...

    Conversation #1:
    OP: "Billing Operator, dis is Kay, may I help you?"
    ME: "Kay! Give me your password!"
    OP: "Alright, it's U39017-4810"
    ME: "Thank you!" (hang up)

    Unfortunately, it's not always that easy. This method hasn't worked for me
    yet so here's another way:

    Conversation #2:
    OP: "Billing Operator, how may I spank you?"
    ME: "CN/A, this is Larry. Can I help you?"
    OP: "This is the billing operator."
    ME: "Well, this is CN/A. Did you need something?"
    OP: "No, you called here, my phone rang."
    ME: "You didn't call the CN/A office?"
    OP: "No...this is the billing office in Arizona."
    ME: "Well, this is the CN/A office in Minnesota. Do you have a pin code?"
    OP: "What do you need that for? I didn't call you."
    ME: "Well, we need a valid pin for each call made to here and I need to report
    this problem to matenience." (babble on...)
    OP: "Oh, okay...well, it's xxxxxxx."
    ME: "Okay, thank you. I'll report the problem. Sorry about the trouble and
    have a good day..."

    Far fetched as it may seem, that's how I've gotten all of my pin codes. The
    operators are instructed not to give out their pin code to anyone but the CN/A
    operators so they seem to think it's okay even though you called them.

    A B C's (A Parody of Dr. Seuss's A B C's) - by Colleen Card

    Big A little a, what begins with a?
    Andy, while in Austin, does an Alliance while he plays.

    Big B little b, what begins with B?
    Bloodaxe, backdoors, blast box, and blue beep.

    Big C little c, what begins with c?
    Captain Crunch cracking COSMOS C...c...C!

    Big D little d, what begins with D?
    Draper drums out data on a digital dirictory.

    Big E little e, what begins with e?
    Engressio eats electronics e e E.

    A, B, C, D, E, F...f
    Fiber Optics fetters in a fluffy vest.

    Big G little g G...G...g.
    Gibota, Grey Areas, G.T.E.!

    Big H little h. Hacking in the hay!
    I went to Ho-HoCon! Hooray! Hooray!

    Big I little i i...i...i.
    The internet is intresting to the F.B.I.

    Big J little j, what begins with J?
    Jim Bayliss in Jell-O begins that way.

    Big K little k, what begins with k?
    Kevin stealing kr3dit k4rd$. Kat, ketchup, kay.

    Big L little l, Liar, leapor, leach.
    Sylvia's got lung cancer and lives in Lawrence with Pete.

    Big M little m, what begins with m?
    Mitnick isn't mobile on an M.C.I. sin.

    Big N little n, NnN!
    Neirdorf's on that network, where when it drops you hear a pin.

    O is very useful, you use it when you say,
    "An operator's in an office rubbing oil in an obscene way!"

    ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOP! Phreaking phrom a phone booth. Passwords from
    Pacific Bell. PBXing to a partyline and reading Phrack phrom jail.

    Big Q little q, what begins with that?
    The quick, queer, Quincy on his Q-modem in Tibet.

    Big R little r, Robins rubbing Roy.
    Random route ringing on a Radio Shack toy.

    Big S little s, Sprint, Southwestern Bell.
    Scanning signals at SummerCon 'til I got busted by Ma Bell.

    T....T....t....t....
    Ten teleconferences at telcoboxes by the trees.

    Big U little u, U! U! U!
    Unix, urine box, U.S. West underwear on my boobs!

    Big V little v, voicemail, verify.
    Virtual video with the volume too high.

    W.W.W. Whombat, wire, WATS,
    Willy wiped his woo woo on a pair of lambchops.

    X is very stupid cause it rhymes with nothing else,
    If you don't bathe regularly I'm sure that you will smell.

    Big Y little y, yelling in my ear,
    You have a very crappy phone so Go, GET OUT OF HERE!

    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U
    V W X... Y... and...

    Big Z little z, what begins with Z?
    A zillion zip codez in a zone, my Zeos and me!

    Ode To Deter

    The following poem was written by Martini of 618. Most of it won't make any
    sense unless you personally know the gimp it's about, Deter. (You might
    remember him from the GIF descriptions in PLA030.TXT.) Anyways, to clue you
    in, Deter is a dork who used Chris Tomkinson's M.C.I. calling card (supplied
    by Zak) from his house a few times and when Chris called him demanding to know
    why his number was on his bill, Deter spilled his guts. This was written on
    May 25, 1995 (probably while illegal substances were churning away at her
    brain...) Thanks, Martini!

    Calling card, calling card,
    used from my house,
    My name is Deter,
    and I look like a mouse.
    I say I'm a prep,
    but I know I'm a nerd.
    My name is Deter,
    and I talk like a bird.
    Chris Tomkinson called me
    he scared me too.
    My name is Deter,
    and I cried boo-hoo.
    What do I do?
    What do I say?
    Is this Chris guy,
    really gay?
    I got the number,
    from Roy Gerbil Zak
    My name is Deter,
    and that is that.
    What happened to my board,
    how'd I get call waiting?
    My name is Deter,
    me and Mitten's are mating.
    What do I do now?
    They all hate me.
    My name is Deter,
    rape me, Chris, rape me!
    Why is this fire,
    being thrown by Martini,
    My name is Deter,
    and I'm a big weenie.
    What do I do?
    No one's on my side.
    My name is Deter,
    and I need to hide.

    Phone Losers Of America Headline News

    Pricey Pay Phones - FCC to caller: Educate self:

    WASHINGTON - Between appointments, Mary Viar dashed to a pay phone in
    Hagerstown, MD to wish her daughter in Pittsburgh a happy birthday. A week
    later she got the bill: $21.39 for her 22-minute call. For the same amount she
    could have called Paris and talked for half an hour.

    "I was shocked," recalled Viar, who had never heard of Polar Communications,
    the company that carried the call. "But I went ahead and paid because I
    figured it would go against my credit." But because she felt "ripped off,"
    Viar filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission.

    In the last year, the FCC has received 4,280 complaints about pay phones and
    hotel phones. The complaints have been increasing, and the majority invlove
    claims of excessive charges.

    "They are the No. 2 source of complaints from consumers," said Kathleen
    Wallman, the commission's top telephone regulator. The No. 1 complaint is
    "slamming," the unauthorized switching of people's long-distance companies.

    The commission is lookin for ways to toughen rules to protect consumers
    against price gouging, said Wallman, chief of the FCC's Common Carrier Bureau.
    Behind each pay phone in the country is a company responsible for the service,
    from carrying calls to providing operator assistance.

    Hundreds of companies are in this business - including the nation's three
    big long distance carriers, AT&T, MCI and Sprint. The smaller companies servce
    hundreds of thousands of phones.

    The big three, whose rates are comparable and considered low by federal
    regulators, are not the problem. The problem, says Wallman, is companies such
    as Bethesda, MD based Oncor Communications, whose rates are three to four
    times as high as those of the big phone companies.

    Oncor has generated 1,000 complaints to the FCC - 800 of which concerned
    rates. In April the FCC ordered the company to lower its charges. The agency
    is investigating three other companies about exorbitant rates, said Mary Beth
    Richards, deputy chief of the FCC's COmmon Carrier Bureau.

    People making calls from pay phones or hotel phones are charged the rate
    offered by the company servicing the phone - even if they have told an
    operator to bill their local or long-distance calling card. The only way to
    avoid this is to dial an 800 or 950 access code listed on the back of the
    calling card before dialing the number. That bypasses the pay phone or hotel
    phone service provider and connects directly with the usual long-distance
    carrier. "Consumers need to educate themselves," saud FCC Chairman, Reed Hundt.

    The commission is trying to help by distributing fact sheets to consumer
    groups and making the materials available on the Internet, the global computer
    network. The FCC estimates 3 billion calls a year are made on pay phones and
    hotel phones. And it estimates that people could save $280 million a year by
    avoiding service providers whose rates are higher than those of PLAT&T, MCI
    and Sprint.

    Oncor spokesman Greg Casey did not return calls seeking comment. Polar
    Communications, based in Manalapan, NJ would not discuss Viar's complaint
    because it had not seen it. But a Polar official tried to answer a question
    about why the company's rates are so much higher than those of the big three.

    "We're a small carrier. We just can't provide the rates that AT&T, MCI and
    Sprint do," said Stacey Wilk, Polar's regulatory manager.

    Companies such as Polar and Oncor are required to file "informational
    tariffs" providing a range of long-distance rates and associated charges to
    the FCC. The FCC does not approve or disapprove the rates, and they go into
    effect immediately, Richards said.

    Similar tariffs are filed to state regulators, who also get complaints. The
    FCC can take action against companies whose interstate rates are found to be
    "unjust and unreasonable," Richards said. The FCC can order the rates reduced,
    order refunds or credits, and impose fines. Since 1991, 26 companies under
    threat of FCC action voluntarily lowered their rates. The FCC has ordered only
    one company, Oncor, to reduce its charges.

    The agency saus it has helped thousands of people who have filed complaints
    over the years to obtain refunds. The FCC is considering making companies file
    specific tariffs, instead of a range of proposed interstate rates; requiring a
    voice message explaining rates before calls are connected; and capping
    interstate rates.

    The FCC also is taking a closer look at the surcharges some companies tack
    onto each call, Wallman said. In general, money from these surcharges goes to
    pay phone owners of the hotel, bar or other establishment where a public phone
    is located and sometimes to the company itself, which is the case with Oncor,
    federal regulators said, The FCC said Oncor's surcharges alone have totaled
    as much as $10 per call.


    Sonic Communications shutting down, facing probe over charge of 'slamming':

    AUSTIN - An Atlanta-based long distance company embroiled in legal troubles
    over an unethical business practice is shutting down and may leave some Texans
    without service, the Texas Attorney General's Office warned Thursday.

    Sonic Communications Inc. has been the source of numerous complaints filed
    with the Attorney General's Office by customers who say the company changed
    their long distance service without authorization, a practice known as
    "slamming" in the industry.

    Slamming often leaves consumers paying much higher rates than with their
    prior carrier, according to the attorney general. Under scrutiny from attorney
    generals' offices in several states, including Texas, California, Illinois and
    New York, Sonic filed for bankruptcy in April. Due to allegations of fraud and
    mismanagement by Sonic, the bankruptcy court appointed a trustee last week to
    run the company, Attorney General Dan Morales' office said.

    The service shutdown, already begun for business users, is proceeding for
    individual consumers, according to Morales' office. In Texas, Sonic targeted
    Hispanic residents in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, El Paso and
    McAllen.

    "Since Sonic is known to have switched consumers' long distance service
    without authorization, we urge consumers, especially those with Hispanic
    surnames, to check their latest telephone bills to see who is their long
    distance provider," Morales said.

    "If your long distance service is provided by Sonic Communications Inc., you
    may want to immediately contact a new, reputable long distance service company
    or your local telephone company to acquire new service," he said.

    No one answered phone calls Thursday to Sonic's office in Atlanta. Morales'
    office saud it is playing a role in Sonic's bankruptcy case and plans to ask
    for restitution to consumers, civil penalties and $400,000 owed to Texas in
    state sales taxes.

    One Texas lawmaker during the 1995 legislative session tried to get a bill
    passed to cut back on the practice of slamming. The bill by Sen. Don Henderson,
    R-Houston, would have required a long distance carrier to have a written
    letter from a consumer specifically authorizing a change of service. Violating
    the bill's provisions would have been a felony. The bill, however, died.

    "The slammers' lobby was fairly effective this session in making sure that
    bill died. The penalties may have been exorbitant and that may have helped
    kill it," said Tom Smith, executive director of the consumer advocacy group
    Public Citizen.

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