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   numbers seized during the arrest of the two pay-phone phreakers. He

   also happened to be in possession of a tape recording of the phreakers

   talking to Par from a prison phone.

  

   The cheeky phreakers had used the prison pay phone to call up a

   telephone bridge located at the University of Virginia. Par, the

   Australian hackers and other assorted American phreakers and hackers

   visited the bridge frequently. At any one moment, there might be eight

   to ten people from the underground sitting on the bridge. The

   phreakers found Par hanging out there, as usual, and they warned him.

   His name and number were inside the book seized by police when they

   were busted.

  

   Par didn't seem worried at all.

  

   `Hey, don't worry. It's cool,' he reassured them. `I have just

   disconnected my phone number today--with no forwarding details.'

  

   Which wasn't quite true. His room-mate, Scott, had indeed disconnected

   the phone which was in his name because he had been getting prank

   calls. However, Scott opened a new telephone account at the same

   address with the same name on the same day--all of which made the job

   of tracking down the mysterious hacker named Par much easier for the

   law enforcement agencies.

  

   In the meantime, Larry Wallace had been ringing around his contacts in

   the security business and had come up with another lead. Wanda Gamble,

   supervisor for the Southeastern Region of MCI Investigations, in

   Atlanta, had a wealth of information on the hacker who called himself

   Par. She was well connected when it came to hackers, having acquired a

   collection of reliable informants during her investigations of

   hacker-related incidents. She gave the Citibank investigator two

   mailbox numbers for Par. She also handed them what she believed was

   his home phone number.

  

   The number checked out and on 25 November, the day after Thanksgiving,

   the Secret Service raided Par's house. The raid was terrifying. At

   least four law enforcement officers burst through the door with guns

   drawn and pointed. One of them had a shotgun. As is often the case in

   the US, investigators from private, commercial organisations--in this

   case Citibank and Pacific Bell--also took part in the raid.

  

   The agents tore the place apart looking for evidence. They dragged

   down the food from the kitchen cupboards. They emptied the box of

   cornflakes into the sink looking for hidden computer disks. They

   looked everywhere, even finding a ceiling cavity at the back of a

   closet which no-one even knew existed.

  

   They confiscated Par's Apple IIe, printer and modem. But, just to be

   sure, they also took the Yellow Pages, along with the telephone and

   the new Nintendo game paddles Scott had just bought. They scooped up

   the very large number of papers which had been piled under the coffee

   table, including the spiral notebook with Scott's airline bookings

   from his job as a travel agent. They even took the garbage.

  

   It wasn't long before they found the red shoebox full of disks peeping

   out from under the fish tank next to Par's computer.

  

   They found lots of evidence. What they didn't find was Par.