phreaking

phreak

[freek]
noun
verb (used without object), phreaked, phreaking.
2.
to act as a phone phreak.
verb (used with object), phreaked, phreaking.
3.
to tamper with (telephones) as a phone phreak does.

Origin:
1970–75; altered spelling of freak1, copying ph- of phone1

freak, phreak.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
phreaking (ˈfriːkɪŋ)
 
n
the act of gaining unauthorized access to telecommunication systems, esp to obtain free calls
 
[C20: blend of freaking + phone]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

phreak
1972, originally in phone phreak, one of a set who defraud telephone companies electronically. The ph- in phone may have suggested the alteration, but this seems to be the original of the 1990s slang fad for substituting ph- for f- (e.g. phat).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

phreaking definition

jargon
/freek'ing/ "phone phreak" 1. The art and science of cracking the telephone network so as, for example, to make free long-distance calls.
2. By extension, security-cracking in any other context (especially, but not exclusively, on communications networks).
At one time phreaking was a semi-respectable activity among hackers; there was a gentleman's agreement that phreaking as an intellectual game and a form of exploration was OK, but serious theft of services was taboo. There was significant crossover between the hacker community and the hard-core phone phreaks who ran semi-underground networks of their own through such media as the legendary "TAP Newsletter".
This ethos began to break down in the mid-1980s as wider dissemination of the techniques put them in the hands of less responsible phreaks. Around the same time, changes in the phone network made old-style technical ingenuity less effective as a way of hacking it, so phreaking came to depend more on overtly criminal acts such as stealing phone-card numbers.
The crimes and punishments of gangs like the "414 group" turned that game very ugly. A few old-time hackers still phreak casually just to keep their hand in, but most these days have hardly even heard of "blue boxes" or any of the other paraphernalia of the great phreaks of yore.
[Jargon File]
(1994-11-09)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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