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   computers. This discovery led to another, more disturbing, thought. If

   the US military was hacking its own computers for practice, what was

   it doing to other countries' computers?

  

   As he quietly backed out of the system, wiping away his footprints as

   he tip-toed away, Mendax thought about what he had seen. He was deeply

   disturbed that any hacker would work for the US military.

  

   Hackers, he thought, should be anarchists, not hawks.

  

   In early October 1991, Mendax rang Trax and gave him the dial-up and

   account details for NMELH1.

  

   Trax wasn't much of a hacker, but Mendax admired his phreaking

   talents. Trax was the father of phreaking in Australia and Trax's

   Toolbox, his guide to the art of phreaking, was

   legendary. Mendax thought Trax might find some interesting detailed

   information inside the NorTel network on how to

   control telephone switches.

  

   Trax invented multi-frequency code phreaking. By sending special

   tones--generated by his computer program--down the phone line, he

   could control certain functions in the telephone exchange. Many

   hackers had learned how to make free phone calls by charging the cost

   to someone else or to calling cards, but Trax discovered how to make

   phone calls which weren't charged to anyone. The calls weren't just

   free; they were untraceable.

  

   Trax wrote 48 pages on his discovery and called it The Australian

   Phreakers Manual Volumes 1-7. But as he added more and more to the

   manual, he became worried what would happen if he released it in the

   underground, so he decided he would only show it to the other two

   International Subversive hackers.

  

   He went on to publish The Advanced Phreaker's Manual,2 a second

   edition of the manual, in The International Subversive, the

   underground magazine edited by Mendax:

  

   An electronic magazine, The International Subversive had a simple

   editorial policy. You could only have a copy of the magazine if you

   wrote an `article'. The policy was a good way of protecting against

   nappies--sloppy or inexperienced hackers who might accidentally draw

   police attention. Nappies also tended to abuse good phreaking and

   hacking techniques, which might cause Telecom to close up security

   holes. The result was that IS had a circulation of just three people.

  

   To a non-hacker, IS looked like gobbledygook--the phone book made more

   interesting reading. But to a member of the computer underground, IS

   was a treasure map. A good hacker could follow the trail of modem

   phone numbers and passwords, then use the directions in IS to

   disappear through secret entrances into the labyrinth of forbidden

   computer networks. Armed with the magazine, he could slither out of

   tight spots, outwit system admins and find the treasure secreted in

   each computer system.

  

   For Prime Suspect and Mendax, who were increasingly paranoid about

   line traces from the university modems they used as launchpads, Trax's

   phreaking skills were a gift from heaven.

  

   Trax made his great discovery by accident. He was using a phone