[ News ] [ Paper Feed ] [ Issues ] [ Authors ] [ Archives ] [ Contact ]

..[ Phrack Magazine ]..
.:: Private audience ::.

Issues: [ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] [ 5 ] [ 6 ] [ 7 ] [ 8 ] [ 9 ] [ 10 ] [ 11 ] [ 12 ] [ 13 ] [ 14 ] [ 15 ] [ 16 ] [ 17 ] [ 18 ] [ 19 ] [ 20 ] [ 21 ] [ 22 ] [ 23 ] [ 24 ] [ 25 ] [ 26 ] [ 27 ] [ 28 ] [ 29 ] [ 30 ] [ 31 ] [ 32 ] [ 33 ] [ 34 ] [ 35 ] [ 36 ] [ 37 ] [ 38 ] [ 39 ] [ 40 ] [ 41 ] [ 42 ] [ 43 ] [ 44 ] [ 45 ] [ 46 ] [ 47 ] [ 48 ] [ 49 ] [ 50 ] [ 51 ] [ 52 ] [ 53 ] [ 54 ] [ 55 ] [ 56 ] [ 57 ] [ 58 ] [ 59 ] [ 60 ] [ 61 ] [ 62 ] [ 63 ] [ 64 ] [ 65 ] [ 66 ] [ 67 ] [ 68 ] [ 69 ]
Current issue : #3 | Release date : 1986-02-01 | Editor : Cheap Shades
IndexCheap Shades
Rolm systemsMonty Python
Making shell bombsMan-Tooth
Signalling systems around the worldData Line
Private audienceOverlord
Fortell systemsPhantom Phreaker
EavesdroppingCircle Lord
Building a Shock RodCircle Lord
Introduction to PBX'sKnight Lightning
Phrack Issue(03), Number(10)Phrack
Title : Private audience
Author : Overlord
                                ==Phrack Inc.==
                    Volume One, Issue Three, Phile 5 of 10

                             * PRIVATE AUDIENCE *


                               BROUGHT TO YOU BY

                              -[ THE OVERLORD ]-


                                PART I: THE LAW

Federal law:
  Section 605 of title 47 of the U.S code, forbids interception of
communication, or divulagance of intercepted communication except by persons
outlined in section 119 of title 18 (a portion of the Omnibus crime control and
safe streets act of 1968). This act states that "It shall not be unlawful under
this act for an operator of a switchboard, or an officer, employee, or agent of
any communication common carrier who's switching system is used in the
transmission of a wire communication to intercept or disclose intercepted

What all this legal bullshit is saying is that if you don't work for a phone
company then you can't go around tapping people's lines. If you decide to
anyway, and get caught, it could cost you up to 5 years of your life and
$10,000. This, you are all assuming, means that if you tap someone else's line,
you will be punished....wrong! You can't tap your own line either. The
punishment for this is probably no more than a slap on the hand, that is if
they actually catch you, but it's a good thing to know..............now on to
the fun.....

                               PART II: TAPPING

Everyone has at some time wanted to hear what a friend, the principal, the prom
queen, or a neighbor has to say on the phone. There are several easy ways to
tap into a phone line. None of the methods that I present will involve actually
entering the house. You can do everything from the backyard. I will discuss
four methods of tapping a line. They go in order of increasing difficulty.

1. The "beige box": a beige box (or bud box) is actually better known as a
"lineman" phone. They are terribly simple to construct, and are basically the
easiest method to use. They consist of nothing more than a phone with the
modular plug that goes into the wall cut off, and two alligator clips attached
to the red and green wires. The way to use this box, is to venture into the
yard of the person you want to tap, and put it onto his line. This is best done
at the bell phone box that is usually next to the gas meter. It should only
have one screw holding it shut, and is very easily opened. Once you are in, you
should see 4 screws with wires attached to them. If the house has one line,
then clip the red lead to the first screw, and the green to the second. You are
then on the "tappee's" phone. You will hear any conversation going on. I
strongly recommend that you remove the speaker from the phone that you're using
so the "tappee" can't hear every sound you make. If the house has two lines,
then the second line is on screws three and four. If you connect everything
right, but you don't get on the line, then you probably have the wires
backward. Switch the red to the second screw and the green to the first. If no
conversation is going on, you may realize that you can't tap the phone very
well because you don't want to sit there all night, and if you are on the
phone, then the poor tappee can't dial out, and that could be bad...so.......
method two.

2. The recorder: This method is probably the most widespread, and you still
don't have to be a genius to do it. There are LOTS of ways to tape
conversations. The two easiest are either to put a "telephone induction pickup"
(Radio Shack $1.99) on the beige box you were using, then plugging it into the
microphone jack of a small tape recorder, and leaving it on record. Or plugging
the recorder right into the line. This can be done by taking a walkman plug,
and cutting off the earphones, then pick one of the two earphone wires, and
strip it. There should be another wire inside the one you just stripped. Strip
that one too, and attach alligators to them. Then follow the beige box
instructions to tape the conversation. In order to save tape, you may want to
use a voice activated recorder (Radio Shack $59), or if your recorder has a
"remote" jack, you can get a "telephone recorder control" at Radio shack shack
for $19 that turns the recorder on when the phone is on, and off when the phone
is off. This little box plugs right into the wall (modularly of course), so it
is best NOT to remove the modular plug for it. Work around it if you can. If
not, then just do you best to get a good connection. When recording, it is good
to keep your recorder hidden from sight (in the Bell box if possible), but in a
place easy enough to change tapes from.

3. The wireless microphone: this is the BUG. It transmits a signal from the
phone to the radio (FM band). You may remember Mr. Microphone (from Kaytel
fame); these wireless microphones are available from Radio Shack for $19. They
are easy to build and easy to hook up. There are so many different models, that
is is almost impossible to tell you exactly what to do. The most common thing
to do is to cut off the microphone element, and attach these two wires to
screws one and two. The line MIGHT, depending on the brand, be "permanently off
hook". This is bad, but by phucking around with it for a while, you should get
it working. There are two drawbacks to using this method. One, is that the poor
asshole who is getting his phone tapped might hear himself on "FM 88, the
principal connection". The second problem is the range. The store bought
transmitters have a VERY short range. I suggest that you build the customized
version I will present in part four (it's cheaper too). Now on to the best of
all the methods....

4. The "easy-talks": This method combines all the best aspects of all the the
other methods. It only has one drawback... You need a set of "Easy-talk" walkie
talkies. They are voice activated, and cost about $59. You can find 'em at toy
stores, and "hi-tech" catalogs. I think that any voice activated walkie talkies
will work, but I have only tried the easy-talks. First, you have to decide on
one for the "transmitter" and one for the "receiver". It is best to use the one
with the strongest transmission to transmit, even though it may receive better
also. De-solder the speaker of the "transmitter", and the microphone of the
"receiver". Now, go to the box. put the walkie talkie on "VOX" and hook the
microphone leads (as in method three) to the first and second screws in the
box. Now go home, and listen on your walkie talkie. If nothing happens, then
the phone signal wasn't strong enough to "activate" the transmission. If this
happens, there are two things you can do. One, add some ground lines to the
microphone plugs. This is the most inconspicuous, but if it doesn't work then
you need an amplifier, like a walkman with two earphone plugs. Put the first
plug on the line, and then into one of the jacks. Then turn the volume all the
way up (w/out pressing play). Next connect the second earphone plug to the mice
wires, and into the second earphone outlet on the walkman. Now put the whole
mess in the box, and lock it up. This should do the trick. It gives you a
private radio station to listen to them on: you can turn it off when something
boring comes on, and you can tape off the walkie talkie speaker that you have!


This is a tiny transmitter that consists on a one colpitts oscillator that
derives it's power from the phone line. Since the resistance it puts on the
line is less than 100 ohms, it has no effect on the telephone performance, and
can not be detected by the phone company, or the tappee. Since it is a
low-powered device using no antenna for radiation, it is legal to the FCC.
(That is it complies with part 15 of the FCC rules and regulations). It,
however is still illegal to do, it's just that what you're using to do it is
legal. This is explained later in part 15... "no person shall use such a device
for eavesdropping unless authorized by all parties of the conversation" (then
it's not eavesdropping is it?). What this thing does, is use four diodes to
form a "bridge rectifier". It produces a varying dc voltage varying with the
auto-signals on the line. That voltage is used to supply the the voltage for
the oscillator transistor. Which is connected to a radio circuit. From there,
you can tune it to any channel you want. The rest will all be explained in a

item                |              description
C1                  | 47-Pf ceramic disk capacitor
C2,C3               | 27-Pf mica capacitor
CR1,CR2,CR3,CR4     | germanium diode 1n90 or equivalent
R1                  | 100 ohm, 1/4 watt 10% composition resistor
R2                  | 10k, 1/4 watt 10% composition resistor
R3                  | .7k, 1/4 watt 10% composition resistor
L1                  | 2 uH radio frequency choke (see text)
L2                  | 5 turns No.20 wire (see text)
Q1                  | Npn rf transistor 2N5179 or equivalent

L1 may be constructed by winding approximately 40 turns of No. 36
enamel wire on a mega-ohm, 1/2 watt resistor. The value of L1 is
not critical. L2 can be made by wrapping 5 turns of No. 20 wire
around a 1/4 inch form. After the wire is wrapped, the form can
be removed. Just solder it into place on the circuit board. It
should hold quite nicely. Also be sure to position Q1 so that the
emitter, base, and collector are in the proper holes. The
schematic should be pretty easy to follow. Although it has an
unusual number of grounds, it still works.

                 --                                    |
            CR1 /  \ CR2              |----------------|
A--------------/    \ --|         ----|          |     |
       |       \    /   |         |   |          C2    L2
       |    CR3 \  /CR4 |         C1  R2    |----|     |
      R1         --     |         |   |    gnd   C3    |
       |         |      |         ----|          |-----|
       |        gnd     |             |                |
       |                |             |-----|----Base  collector
       |                |                   R3     \   /
B-----------------------|                   |       \/\ <- Q1
                                           gnd       \/

The odd thing about this bug that we haven't encountered yet, is that it is put
on only one wire (either red or green) so go to the box, remove the red wire
that was ALREADY on screw
1 and attach it to wire 'A' of the bug. Then attach
wire 'B' to the screw itself. You can adjust the frequency which it comes out
on the FM channel by either smooshing, or widening the coils of L2. It takes a
few minutes to get to work right, but it is also very versatile. You can change
the frequency at will, and you can easily record off your radio.

                           PART FIVE: HELPFUL HINTS

First of all, With method one, the beige box, you may notice that you can also
dial out on the phone you use. I don't recommend that you do this. If you
decide to anyway, and do something conspicuous like set up a 30 person
conference for three hours, then I suggest that you make sure the people are
either out of town or dead. In general, when you tap a line, you must be
careful. I test everything I make on my line first, then install it late at
night. I would not recommend that you leave a recorder on all day. Put it on
when you want it going, and take it off when you're done. As far as recording
goes, I think that if there is a recorder on the line it sends a sporadic beep
back to the phone co. I know that if you don't record directly off the line
(i.e off your radio) then even the most sophisticated equipment can't tell that
you're recording. Also, make sure that when you install something, the people
are NOT on the line. Installation tends to make lots of scratchy sounds, clicks
and static. It is generally a good thing to avoid. It doesn't take too much
intelligence to just make a call to the house before you go to install the
thing. If it's busy then wait a while. (This of course does not apply if you
are making a "midnight run").

All in all, if you use common sense, and are *VERY* careful, chances are you
won't get caught. Never think that you're unstoppable, and don't broadcast what
you're doing. Keep it to yourself, and you can have a great time.

                       -[ OVERLORD ]-


The CircleLord
Knight Lightning
The Forest Ranger
P-80 systems

Watch for more advanced tapping, how they catch you, and verification in the
near future.

[ News ] [ Paper Feed ] [ Issues ] [ Authors ] [ Archives ] [ Contact ]
© Copyleft 1985-2016, Phrack Magazine.