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   through perfectly legal means. The vast majority of people never

   thought to look. But once they saw such a list, particularly from the

   environment of a military computer's bowels, it tended to drive the

   point home. The point being that the US military seemed to be



   Anthrax logged out of System X, killed all his connections and hung up

   the phone. It was time to move on. Routing through a few

   out-of-the-way connections, he called one of the numbers on the list.

   The username-password combination worked. He looked around. It was as

   he expected. This wasn't a computer. It was a telephone exchange. It

   looked like a NorTel DMS 100.


   Hackers and phreakers usually have areas of expertise. In Australian

   terms, Anthrax was a master of the X.25 network and a king of voice

   mailbox systems, and others in the underground recognised him as such.

   He knew Trilogues better than most company technicians. He knew

   Meridian VMB systems better than almost anyone in Australia. In the

   phreaking community, he was also a world-class expert in Aspen VMB

   systems. He did not, however, have any expertise in DMS 100s.


   Anthrax quickly hunted through his hacking disks for a text file on

   DMS 100s he had copied from an underground BBS. The pressure was on.

   He didn't want to spend long inside the exchange, maybe only fifteen

   or twenty minutes tops. The longer he stayed without much of a clue

   about how the thing operated, the greater the risk of his being

   traced. When he found the disk with the text file, he began sorting

   through it while still on-line at the telephone exchange. The

   phreakers' file showed him some basic commands, things which let him

   gently prod the exchange for basic information without disturbing the

   system too much. He didn't want to do much more for fear of

   inadvertently mutilating the system.


   Although he was not an authority on DMS 100s, Anthrax had an old

   hacker friend overseas who was a real genius on NorTel equipment. He

   gave the list to his friend. Yes, the friend confirmed it was indeed a

   DMS 100 exchange at a US military base. It was not part of the normal

   telephone system, though. This exchange was part of a military phone



   In times of war, the military doesn't want to be dependent on the

   civilian telephone system. Even in times of peace, voice

   communications between military staff are more secure if they don't

   talk on an exchange used by civilians. For this and a variety of other

   reasons, the military have separate telephone networks, just as they

   have separate networks for their data communications. These networks

   operate like a normal network and in some cases can communicate to the

   outside world by connecting through their own exchanges to civilian



   When Anthrax got the word from the expert hacker, he made up his mind

   quickly. Up went the sniffer. System X was getting more interesting by

   the hour and he didn't want to miss a precious minute in the information

   gathering game when it came to this system.


   The sniffer, a well-used program rumoured to be written by a

   Sydney-based Unix hacker called Rockstar, sat on System X under an

   innocuous name, silently tracking everyone who logged in and out of

   the system. It recorded the first 128 characters of every telnet

   connection that went across the ethernet network cable to which System