Mark Abene aka Phiber Optik first started out when his father bought him a Commodore 64 for Christmas and he had asked for an Apple II instead. He got creative and started to modify the Commodore 64 and its 300 Baud VicModem into a blue box. But not any sort of blue box, this box was bluer than any other box and it made him the envy of the neighborhood. Sure cans of spray paint were used, as well as duct tape, and cardbox boxes left over from his sister's maxipad stash (she has a problem and has to buy them in bulk). He was six at the time, but it was his first hax.
Later, age 12 he decided to create a different blue box. Maybe this time it could do something useful. Like, uh, oh, I dunno. Make crank phone calls, nah we can do that without a blue box. He took the Commodore 64 and VicModem and removed the electronics and combined them together with a toaster, a used pinball machine, and a vintage Atari 2600 (this was the key) to create a new blue box that, that, that, oh yeah, it, yeah I think, didn't it, yeah it did, make long distance phone calls for free. Screwing Bell out of her money. Now people can call the Pope for free, and complain to him about that no-condoms policy without paying a fortune. He joined the Legion of Doom.
He spent age 13 to 15 locked inside of his bedroom doing who knows what. At age 16, he decided to build another blue box. Not just any blue box, it makes long distance phone calls for free. Nah, already done that. Using an Amiga 1000, a Hayes 1200 baud modem, Cheetos, and lots and lots of soda he created a blue box exactly like his second blue box, but somewhat like his first blue box, but this time it spoofs caller ID so you can cuss out the Pope and use your neighbor's phone number and get him excommunicated. Not only that, but it took over the 911 emergency database that Bell had controlled and he stole the program it used. He looked at the program, debugged it, cut out a lot of crud and crap code, and uploaded it back to the 911 system. As a result 911 calls were handled quicker and more calls could be taken. Bell got ticked off over this and claim he crashed their system had Phiber arrested.
Bell made sure that the FBI ruffed up Phiber and delayed his trial so he'd stay in jail longer as an example to others. Using tin cans, kite string, a plastic hair comb, and some wax paper, Phiber Optik was able to create his own Internet connection in prison and had to hum out the bytes. He wrote his master thesis and the blueprints for all three of his blue boxes. Soon he gained a lot of fame for his hacks. He got money donated and he was able to hire a lawyer who could use the Chewbacca defense to get him out of jail and found innocent.
He joined the Masters of Deception at age 17. He modified his third blue box to make 1-900 calls for free. This allowed him to talk to what he thought were young women on phone sex lines, but in reality where 80 year old Chinese men in panties pretending to be young women. He also invented warrantless wiretappings on fellow LOD and MOD members, which later gave George W. Bush the idea to do the same to domestic phone calls. Bell had him arrested again, after they found out he had gotten into their systems and left them messages saying "Happy Thanksgiving Turkeys from the MOD, don't eat too much stuffing". He was tried again, but pleaded guilty, but was a minor still. He served his time and was released in 1994.
Nobody knows what happened to Phiber Optik after his trial. He may have worked for Worldcom or Enron. Maybe one day he will build a fourth blue box, or maybe a red one or yellow or green or orange, anyway he became a legend in his own time. Some say he works as a security consultant, others that he was turned down for jobs because of his hacker past, others that he is helping for fraud in fucking base-ball.
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