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   :

  

   He pulled up another of his hacking tools, a program which dumped 200

   common commands to the other machine. Nothing. Finally, he tried

   typing `logout'. That gave him an answer:

  

   error, not logged on

  

   Ah, thought Mendax. The command is `logon' not `login'.

  

   :logon

  

   The Telecom exchange answered: `username:' Now all Mendax had to do

   was figure out a username and password.

  

   He knew that Telecom used NorTel equipment. More than likely, NorTel

   staff were training Telecom workers and would need access themselves.

   If there were lots of NorTel employees working on many different phone

   switches, it would be difficult to pass on secure passwords to staff

   all the time. NorTel and Telecom people would probably pick something

   easy and universal. What password best fitted that description?

  

   username: nortel

  

   password: nortel

  

   It worked.

  

   Unfortunately, Mendax didn't know which commands to use once he got

   into the machine, and there was no on-line documentation to provide

   help. The telephone switch had its own language, unlike anything he

   had ever encountered before.

  

   After hours of painstaking research, Mendax constructed a list of

   commands which would work on the exchange's computer. The exchange

   appeared to control all the special six-digit phone numbers beginning

   with 13, such as those used for airline reservations or some pizza

   delivery services. It was Telecom's `Intelligent Network' which did

   many specific tasks, including routing calls to the nearest possible

   branch of the organisation being called. Mendax looked through the

   list of commands, found `RANGE', and recognised it as a command which

   would allow someone to select all the phone numbers in a certain

   range. He selected a thousand numbers, all with the prefix 634, which

   he believed to be in Telecom's Queen Street offices.

  

   Now, to test a command. Mendax wanted something innocuous, which

   wouldn't screw up the 1000 lines permanently. It was almost 7 a.m. and

   he needed to wrap things up before Telecom employees began coming into

   work.

  

   `RING' seemed harmless enough. It might ring one of the numbers in the

   range after another--a process he could stop. He typed the command in.

   Nothing happened. Then a few full stops began to slowly spread across

   his screen:

  

   . . . . . . .

  

   RUNG