Exploding the Phone: The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws Who Hacked Ma Bell

Exploding-the-Phone-The-Untold-Story-of-the-Teenagers-and-Outlaws-who-Hacked-Ma-Bel-FSMdotCOMBefore smartphones, back even before the Internet and personal computer, a misfit group of technophiles, blind teenagers, hippies, and outlaws figured out how to hack the world’s largest machine: the telephone system.

Starting with Alexander Graham Bell’s revolutionary “harmonic telegraph,” by the middle of the twentieth century the phone system had grown into something extraordinary, a web of cutting-edge switching machines and human operators that linked together millions of people like never before.

But the network had a billion-dollar flaw, and once people discovered it, things would never be the same.

Exploding the Phone tells this story in full for the first time. It traces the birth of long-distance communication and the telephone, the rise of AT&T’s monopoly, the creation of the sophisticated machines that made it all work, and the discovery of Ma Bell’s Achilles’ heel.

Phil Lapsley expertly weaves together the clandestine underground of “phone phreaks” who turned the network into their electronic playground, the mobsters who exploited its flaws to avoid the feds, the explosion of telephone hacking in the counterculture, and the war between the phreaks, the phone company, and the FBI.

NOTE: in case you didn’t know Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, the dynamic Apple duo, were nothing but phone phreaks. Check out both of them, talking about their short career building illegal telephone equipment, aka blue boxes, in this article

Exploding the Phone: The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws who Hacked Ma Bell is available now for $15 at amazon.com

FSM tries its best not to track you or allow third party services to track you. You may notice we don't use ads or social share buttons.

We don't ask for your email or any other personal info. Hell, we don't even have Google Analytics on the site. FSM tries to provide you with valuable info in a way that respects your privacy.

If you would like to support FSM consider donating with Bitcoin: 1Hfuq77gKKFJeNcq4EP4dQK3yDRWrFEwJR

Alternatively you can buy us a coffee. ( one time payment )