: one who gains illegal access to the telephone system
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.
This year's annual conference on culture and technology will focus on the subculture of hackers and phreakers.
"Wire fraud spiked, and the FBI cracked down on phreakers and their blue boxes." - Jose Pagliery, CNN.com, March 11, 2015
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Test Your Memory
What former Word of the Day derives from the same Latin root as our word rude and means "learned or pedantic"? The answer is …
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP