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Phreaking out or How Hackers Still Have The Mojo

The Anonymous/Lulzsec hacker collective released details of a conference call between the FBI and UK police forces last week.

The topic of conversation was "Anon-Lulz International Coordination Call"; this is highly embarrassing both for the FBI, UK and other police forces involved. The FBI will definitely be freaking out, as Anonymous could have gathered a lot of intelligence on current international coordination efforts to bring them to justice, and possibly compromised a few police investigations.

During the conference call each police agency shared what information it had, there was some ambiguity, as the information was not consistent, which highlighted the issues police agencies are having tracking down Anonymous members.

Anonymous seemed to have got details of the conference call, from a compromised FBI email account and then eavesdropped on the conversation. Writting on Twitter one member of Anonymous stated "The FBI might be curious how we're able to continuously read their internal comms for some time now."

Hacking into telephone conversations is nothing new; the general term for manipulating a phone system is called Phreaking. In fact Kevin Mitnick regularly did this in the 1990s to detect if US police where getting closer to arresting him. Kevn Mitnick though was a true Phreaker in that he compromised the telephone company's local switch and modified the call routing tables.

This disrupted the trap-and-trace warrants that locate the address he was calling from. Kevin routinely used two computers each night, one for hacking into computer systems, the other for keeping a watch for any trap-and-traces being used by the police.

Sabu, the de-facto leader for Anonymous/Lulzsec, has in the past made reference to Kevin Mitnicks exploits as well as other hackers from the 1980/90's - Phiber Optik and Eric Bloodaxe. It seems that history is repeating itself, or Anonymous by accident or design is following in the footsteps of these hackers.

We can assume that whichever police email account was compromised by Anonymous that it has been stripped clean of all information. This could be further embarrassing to whichever police force this belonged too, especially if Anonymous start to release other emails. This is another "notch" on Anonymous bed post against the FBI.

You can be assured though that all the police agencies in the email list will be reviewing there communications security, and they will be using more secure methods in the future. If only they had encrypted those emails.