French hacker magazines - on the top shelf

2600 magazine 1988 style

Just back from Paris, where I took in a conference and had a few extra days relaxing. Unlike previous trips, I actually had some time to do what I wanted, which included perusing some of the top shelves of the - no, not for porn, silly, but hacker magazines.

Unlike in the UK, where you have to visit enlightened newsagents such as Borders, to grab copies of 2600 and other hacker mags, there are several French IT security magazines that are quite subversive, and on open display, albeit usually on the top shelf of the newsagents.

I was mildly amused at the Paris newsagents (in Odeon) to see a French translation of the famous 2600 magazines from the US, which even included a copy of one of my old features from the late 1980s on `Blue Boxing' techniques on the US phone network.

The info is now hopelessly out of date, of course, but the methodology I recommended to work out local dialing codes and daisy-chain them together is still as valid as ever.

BT and France Telecom must really love me, you know...

Buried in one of the so-called security magazines was a pull-out map of the French phone system, complete with national dialling codes and unusual numbering sequences.

I was impressed. The last time I looked, such material was withdrawn from circulation owing to the terrorist risk. Yet here was a lot of information, together with the addresses and post codes of the major telecoms switches.

It's a shame we don't get access to this sort of stuff here in the UK you know...