Plan of a Hack
Long before cyber criminals were stealing ATM passwords, phone phreaks were tapping into the telephone system. Their motivation was not monetary, but the thrill of defeating a complex, invisible network. Today “hacking” can apply to cyberwarfare, biological tinkering, or even geoengineering. Often it has negative connotations, but the original definition of “hacking” was something else.
In this first of two episodes on hacking, we look at the original practitioners – the teenagers and mavericks who hacked Ma Bell for thrills – and the difference between hacking for fun and for profit.