Blue boxes are electronic devices that have a rich history in the world of phone hacking. In simple terms, they mimic the tones that telephone operators used to switch long-distance calls. Blue boxes were a popular tool in the 60s and 70s, allowing users to make long-distance calls without being charged or route the calls through another number. These devices became popular among hacktivists known as “phreakers.”
John Draper, who was famously known as “Captain Crunch,” made blue boxes more famous. Users could enter numbers on a touchpad to make free long-distance phone calls to any location in the world. Once a long-distance call was made, the box would enter operator mode, and the user could route the call to another location.
The blue box can be viewed as a predecessor of the modern-day VoIP technology, which makes voice calls possible over the internet. As hacking technology advanced, different color boxes were developed to control other aspects of the phone network.
FAQs About Blue Boxes
What Are Blue Boxes?
Blue boxes are electronic devices that mimic the tones produced by a telephone operator’s dialling console. It was developed in the 60s and 70s to route long-distance calls through another number or make free calls.
Who Invented Blue Boxes?
While there were many inventors of the blue box, John Draper, aka Captain Crunch, was famously known for making blue boxes more popular and accessible to the general population in the 70s.
Are Blue Boxes Still Used Today?
With the advent of modern communication technology, blue boxes are no longer useful, and their use is widely illegal. It is considered a form of hacking and can lead to charges of telephone fraud, wire fraud, and other crimes if caught.
Although blue boxes are no longer practical, this device played a significant role in the evolution of modern communication technology. Blue boxes were widely popular in the 60s and 70s and allowed users to bypass long-distance calls’ expensive charges. Nowadays, the use of blue boxes is illegal and can lead to criminal charges.