Definitions for blue box
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word blue box
a blue coloured container used for the collection of household waste (such as tin cans and newspapers) for recycling by a municipal authority
an electronic device used to bypass payment on a tone pulse telephone system
A blue box is an unauthorized electronic device that generates the same tones employed by a telephone operator's dialing console to switch long-distance calls. A blue box is a tool that emerged in the 1960s and 70s; it allowed users to route their own calls by emulating the in-band signaling mechanism that then controlled switching in long distance dialing systems. The most typical use of a blue box was to place free telephone calls. A related device, the black box enabled one to receive calls which were free to the caller. The blue box no longer works in most Western nations, as modern switching systems are now digital and do not use in-band signaling. Instead, signaling occurs on an out-of-band channel which cannot be accessed from the line the caller is using, a system called Common Channel Interoffice Signaling or CCIS.
The New Hacker's Dictionary
n. 1. obs. Once upon a time, before all-digital switches made it possible for the phone companies to move them out of band, one could actually hear the switching tones used to route long-distance calls. Early phreakers built devices called blue boxes that could reproduce these tones, which could be used to commandeer portions of the phone network. (This was not as hard as it may sound; one early phreak acquired the sobriquet “Captain Crunch” after he proved that he could generate switching tones with a plastic whistle pulled out of a box of Captain Crunch cereal!) There were other colors of box with more specialized phreaking uses; red boxes, black boxes, silver boxes, etc. There were boxes of other colors as well, but the blue box was the original and archetype. 2. n. An IBM machine, especially a large (non-PC) one.
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