phreaker

noun phreak·er \ ˈfrē-kər \

Definition of phreaker

:one who gains illegal access to the telephone system

phreaking

play \ˈfrē-kiŋ\ noun

phreaker was our Word of the Day on 06/01/2015. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

Phreakers are people who specialize in attacks on the telephone system. The word, which became popular in the mid-1980s, is probably a combination of the words phone and freak. (Phreakers are also known as "phreaks" or "phone phreaks.") In the early days, phreakers whistled or used an instrument to mimic the tones the phone system then used to route calls and identify payment, especially as a way to avoid paying for an expensive call. Modern phreaking involves breaking into and manipulating the phone company's computer system, making it a specialized kind of hacking.

First Known Use of phreaker

1984


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