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The Almighty Buck

Las Vegas's Seedy Technical Underbelly 72

An unsigned submission notes: "Kevin Poulsen's new article on cybercrime in Vegas features tons of cool stuff from pimps, prostitutes, and Gambino family mob hits to an explanation of Sprint's telephone infrastructure. Check it out at SecurityFocus ..." This stuff is worthy of a book.
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Las Vegas's Seedy Technical Underbelly

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Doesn't anyone on slashdot have a girlfriend!?!?

    Step away from the computer. Take a deep breath. Look in the mirror. Realize the lunacy of asking that question.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Certain games and progressive VP at high enough levels do indeed have a positive EV for perfect play. Also, as the previous poster stated, even a low negative EV can be profitable once comps are factored in. You can tell which games are good by the printed payout tables. These machines are profitable for casinos because:
    • Perfect play requires a good deal of concentration over a long period of time. Even for players who understand the strategy, this is hard to sustain in the casino environment of distractions, alcohol, and greed.
    • Variability is extremely high. You have to be willing to play for a long time and risk a fairly large bankroll to have a positive payoff.
    • At $1.25 a hand, and a reasonable rate of play, the expected payoff is well under minimum wage. So beyond the fun of beating the house, it is not especially profitable. $5 a hand might be reasonably profitable, but you need a much bigger bankroll to pull it off.
    • 99-101% payoff machines are fairly rare. Most VP machines are in the 96-97% range. (again, with high variability and perfect play) You're better off playing craps.
    For these reasons, and especially the high variability, video poker can be advertised as beatable while remaining extremely difficult to beat in actual practice. So it makes a good lure for reasonably sophisticated gamblers. So I agree that VP is not a very practical way of making money. Anyone with the mental discipline and financial backing to to so could make more money with less risk elsewhere. However, if you find gambling entertaining, video poker is one of the better bets in the house.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Just a thought to ponder on. My thoughts tread on the idea that someone has a person on the inside of Sprint or whatever telephone company. And they have access to the CCS7 linking which is the network used before having a trunk actually used up for calls, and is the network that sends busy signals and/or they have made sure any call routed to his number through the switch(from a local number) is ignored or rerouted. They wouldn't be able to touch the LD stuff, because the IXC would probably become suspicious of calls being rerouted all the time, if this said insider has access to the IXC equipement(if it's a different carrier, then there would be no way to touch it).
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Actually I thought the three laws of thermo were:

    1.) You'll fail the first time you take it because you don't know what you're doing.

    2.) You'll fail the second time you take it because you think you know what you're doing.

    3.) You pass the third time you take it because you know you don't know what you're doing, but you've seen it enough times to be comfortable accepting it.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    A little bit of history. The scheme in this article goes way, way back. And brought us the first automated phone switch. The guy(can't remember his name off the top of my head) who invented the switch was not an electrical engineer, he was a mortician and whenever someone called his place, the operator(who was the wife of a rival mortician) would route the calls to her husband. So the first mortician went about designing and developing the first automated phone switching system.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @01:12PM (#221421)
    You know, for a place that hosts Comdex and DefCon, a lot of computer people don't seem to realize how tech-driven Las Vegas really is.

    I'm not even going to go into the major stuff-- like the huge video billboards, the amazingly cool video poker games (looks like a ghost with gloves is dealing your cards, etc.), or what controls all those modern roller coasters and animatronics shows. Oh, no. I'm going into the seemingly mundane stuff that is STILL cool.

    For one thing, consider the accounting methods. The State of Nevada has some *tough* requirements on pay-out, odds-tracking, etc. for slot machines and other games. Not only are we talking about ledgers, here, but also advanced statistical bookkeeping. So it isn't surprising that there's a booming mini-industry in accounting and statistical packages specifically targetting the casino business.

    Not only that, but usage statistics become critical (hey, why does everybody play poker in the evening, slots in the morning?). If a game isn't playing well (nobody likes it), a casino will dump it in favor of a more popular game. So software to track usage is a big deal, too. And demographic information is used a lot, too(old people like slots, right?).

    Then we can talk about the various shops and attractions. Ever visit the forum shops? Ever imagine how much goes in to making the lights all dim or brighten at the same time? How about turning the sky from day into night? And let's not forget the fountains and other novelties.

    Vegas really has some cool tech under the hood. That's mainly because casino owners are smart folks-- they know how to use technology to their advantage, and don't mind paying for the privilege.

  • Hey this is nothing new there is always people trying to pull the strings in the background. I wonder if Mitnick could be called in as a consultant on this case he could clean up on this one.
  • Hell, even the dotcoms in Vegas are pretty shady. The city isn't really a stronghold for tech work these days, especially design work, although an IT job within the casinos isn't too hard to pick up.

    And re Sprint, I wouldn't be surprised if someone were mucking about with their lines, they are notorious out here for their lack of internal communication and being clueless about their own systems...
  • That may be, but Sprint isn't the only bunch of fools in the telecom business there. Mpower Communications (formerly MGC), a CLEC serving Las Vegas, has a reputation for worse service than Sprint... I've even heard of such problems as employees blundering into racks and knocking T1 connections loose.

    Oh yeah, Mpower isn't the shiniest penny in the stack either, but I went with them over Sprint last time I had a phone line installed. I never had any problems with them, but then again, I've never done business with em in a commercial setting. It's odd, in every industry aside from development and entertainment, Vegas really does seem to breed mediocrity.
  • by verch ( 12834 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @01:52PM (#221425)
    All Your Hookers Are Belong To Us
  • Eddie -

    I got your email address from your paper. I'd like a hooker. Please send to 204 Greendale Drive. Thanks.

    I sure hope this message doesn't get diverted somewhere...

    --riney
  • by sharkey ( 16670 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @01:30PM (#221427)
    Perhaps this is their "Crisis Week," and they are running under-resourced to calibrate how fast their servers will go into "Crisis Mode" (read Alzheimer's Mode).

    --
  • by sharkey ( 16670 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @01:33PM (#221428)
    Las Vegas if you want to keep the money you make.

    Huh? Last time I went to Vegas, I LOST almost all the money I made. They don't call it "Lost Wages" for nothing.

    --
  • Pimps, prostitutes, mob hits, and the Sprint infrastructure...
  • I used to work for an adult entertainment company that did modem to modem video conferencing. We swore up and down that someone was re-routing our phone lines, but we could never prove it. We could be having a kick-ass day and then all of a sudden... ...nothing. Very weird. I couldn't come up with any explainations so I went with the phone lines being rerouted. When in doubt, blame someone else. That company went out of business tho... (for other reasons).
  • by devphil ( 51341 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @01:11PM (#221431) Homepage


    I got woken up by a guy with a vaguely New York accent wanting for me to change long distance plans, and implying that without that level of "protection," something terrible could happen during my next telephone call. Now it all makes sense.

  • I remember hearing about a similar sleazy operation against a food-delivery service in Boston. It seems that the scumbag running one delivery service re-directed his competitor's mail (US Mail, that is) to somewhere were it got lost, and it put the poor guy out of business (he never got his bills, etc.)

    This kind of thing needs to be treated as a criminal matter, not just a grounds for civil litigation.

    -jcr
  • Yeah, but their designer is happy it came out just as they drew it in photoshop!! ;-)
  • Unchangeable by whom? You? Your ISP? What you are implying is a backdoor. Companies are ripped shiny new assholes for such things. I can name a few devices (most managed ethernet switches) that used to have a fixed "support" password, but none of them do anymore (for the aforementioned reason.)

    And now that I think about it, all of the ones I can name are 3Com gear.
  • I think that "clueless" bit is true of almost any telco. In my experience, people don't read manuals. I know for a fact that there is significant documentation from Nortel. So much so they no longer print it (we have too few trees on this planet as it is.) And, I prefer electronic documentation -- it's hard to grep a notebook.

    My former boss loved not having to teach me to do things... show me a problem and tell me where I can find the manual.
  • SS7 -- Signaling System 7

    It's an out-of-band signaling system (hence the "SS") for routing switching messages -- all the bits of call setup and teardown.

    See also: http://www.iec.org/tutorials/ss7/index.html [iec.org]
  • There are two ways to get a long-term, statistically valid edge over the casino, as far as I know. 1. Learn card counting and play blackjack.. www.cardcounter.com and www.bj21.com are good places to start. 2. Play video poker. Learn the correct strategy and look for games with payouts near 100% (or over) long-term. Combined with comps, you can come out ahead.
    ---
  • thanks for backing me up. Also, don't forget counting cards at blackjack. Thorpe, Uston, Wong and others are/were "hackers" in the true sense of the word.

    Thorpe's legnedary book "beat the dealer" was based on trials of thousands of hands on a mainframe simulator. These guys today can run simulations of billions of hands. Card counting isn't THAT hard, and it's kind of fun that the casinos will kick you out for it (but IT IS NOT ILLEGAL), giving it a real "james bond" feel.

    That being said, you have to have a huge bankroll and play a LOT to make any money. I do it strictly as a hobby (and don't even count all the time while in vegas).

    bj21.com is a great place to start about the world of card counting. Cardcounter.com isn't bad either.
    ---
  • by manjunaths ( 83313 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @01:19PM (#221439)
    I can see why www.securityfocus.com has been /.ed. But why has www.vegasgirls.com been /.ed ?
  • His name was Kevin Paulson, NOT MEATLOAF!
  • Considering my DSL modem has fixed IP at which it can be accessed from local subnet and it has set and unchangeable login/passwd to connect in the device to change its configuration or do whatever and all you need to access it is access to local telephone central (which is out of premises) and laptop. It's maybe too easy way how to get behind my company's firewall...

    One really wonders then what kind of other devices are so easily accessible, and what all they let you do. This case with the CALRS system really scares me. And the only level of security there is obscurity.

  • "... and nobody but us is allowed to screw visitors to Las Vegas."

    -- fencepost
  • The mortician's name was Strowager, and he gave us the Strowager Switch - a connector that swings across many contacts and selects a line depending on the # you dialed. See Tanenbaum's Computer Networks for more info.
  • jakob nielsen [useit.com] is gonna lay a beating on their ass for that. :)

    Paul

  • But why has www.vegasgirls.com been /.ed ?

    Yeah, It isn't like /.ers like to look at hotties on the net or anything...

  • I've always stayed out of the Kevin Mitnick debate, thinking that he was probably screwed by the system afterall. Our system *is* corrupt, right?

    But based on the exploits he's credited for bragging about in this article, the guy decieved, manipulated and tore his way into places where he didn't belong, posing as a technician, programmer, whatever. Perhaps the legal process he was put through was wrong, but if this article is right, Mitnick was no good kid who was wrongly framed.

    --SC

  • by StevenMaurer ( 115071 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @01:13PM (#221447) Homepage

    It was close to being slashdotted. Still, I found a unique banner ad, which read:

    File exists, but access forbidden by user

    Boy, those security focus people sure do take their security seriously!


  • I really doubt if any hotel has a DMS-x, to call a switch of that class overkill for a hotel would be an understatement. Mitel [mitel.com] dominates the hospitality industry anyways, with over 80% of installed hotel PBXs being Mitel. Hotels typically do not do any configuration or maintenance on their PBX in-house. With this in mind, perhaps a look at the companies doing the service on some of the hotel's PBXs would be in order.

    maru
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @03:38PM (#221449) Homepage
    Now that the guy has supoena power, he needs to ask for a dump of the central office switch translations affecting his numbers for all the end office switches serving the hotels on the Strip. If he's being hacked, it's probably at that level. Also worth dumping are the translations in a few hotel PBXs. It's become all too common to mess with dialed numbers in hotel PBXs. One casino (a "card club") near San Francisco got in trouble for diverting 911 to their in-house security staff.

    Data mining his caller ID info should tell him where in the network his calls are being diverted. And he should probably have an autodialer dialing his own numbers every 10 minutes or so as a check.

  • yup. he was on unsolved mysteries in the early 90s. I forget what the book was called, but it was pretty cool, although i'm sure it was slightly inaccurate...
  • Doesn't the mob work best when they are in control of a Union (e.g. Jimmy Hoffa)? Is there a coders/computer union?

    And please, oh please, make the online mob NOT use 13373 SP34K!

    PH33R M4 13373 M0B SK1LLZ D00DZ!!!!11

    *Cringe*
  • Whoops, acutally, it appears to be a Nortel Meridian system. Still pretty cool, though.


    --

  • by electricmonk ( 169355 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @03:47PM (#221453) Homepage
    ...but if you want to play around with a Nortel DMS-100 system (in a simulation, of course), you can do it here [pbxsoft.com], at pbxsoft. Kinda interesting site, if you ask me.

    And, no, I'm not affiliated with them, YMMV, IANAL, IIRC, etc.
    --


  • pimps and prostitutes? sounds like my idea of a fun weekend....

    Fun weekend? I don't know which pimps and prostitutes you associate with.
    .

  • Security focus uses 9 frames per page. Take your average /. traffic, then multiply it by 9. Somewhere in that company is an engineer trying to convince them to change the site, but they 'like the look'.

    And you wonder why the dot.coms went down in flames??

  • If this practice is as common as What's-his-bucket claims, I'd leave the city. The last thing I need is from some elite haxor to fsck up my phone while I'm trying to call an ambulance.

    Or rerouting my calls to 1-800-BETS-OFF to a sports betting line... :)
  • This [jeffreywernick.com]is how mob kids chat. Looks like they use Macs, I guess they aren't as smart as they think they are :)


    Enigma
  • by Tebriel ( 192168 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @12:52PM (#221459)
    I wish my phone calls to tech support got rerouted to a rival who wanted my business and would get their people on the job first. So, where do we sign up?
  • I didn't really want to bring this into it, but I work for Sprint. I can tell you, first-hand, how difficult it is to keep a handle on how things are organized/scheduled. Hell, I've been trying for two weeks now to get someone to send me a fscking copy of AIX 4.3.3 to do a server install. Fifteen calls, a dozen emails and an escalation later, I'm no closer.

    If they have informants, then their informants are very, very, very good at what they do. If I'm scheduled to test a phone line I could show up early/late, do it from home, ask someone else to do it if I'm really busy. I could notice that someone had logged into a box that no one was supposed to be using. I could check activity logs(now we have to have informants/conspirators with high security/admin access to the switches). Any number of things could cause the informants info to be inaccurate and the conspiracy uncovered. And they also have to know when Joe Random reporter makes his own "test calls"(as someone affiliated with the article did) and have people inside AT&T as well(since they had similar issues/investigations).

    Occam's razor seems to be eminently suited to this story.

    Steven
  • EXACTLY!!! God why couldn't it have been said before? From the article.

    "We've run our tests, we've spent time and resources on this, and we haven't seen any indication of call diversion," says Scott Collins, of Sprint subsidiary Central Telephone's department of regulatory affairs. Last November, at the direction of the Nevada Public Utilities Commission (PUC), the phone company ran three days of test calls from five different Las Vegas hotels: the Sahara, Travel Lodge, Vagabond, Motel 6, and Four Queens. Of 205 calls, all but 23 went through, and none were diverted to competitors. (Further investigation of the 23 incomplete calls turned up innocent explanations.) Testing by AT&T in 1997 produced similar results.


    Anyone who read the article and saw this and still believes it's a conspiracy instead of just plain crappy/overloaded service has got to be a serious paranoid.

    Jeebus on a pogo stick! 23/205 failed? That's a crazy nuts percentage! And it's not just Sprint either. Now they may have vulnerabilities to people like Mitnick, but that's different than simple overload.

    Steven
  • by Mtgman ( 195502 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @01:01PM (#221462)
    or did we just DDoS a security website? You would think they'd have some process in place to stop things like this.

    Steven
  • by Mtgman ( 195502 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @01:29PM (#221463)
    Here's a synopsis of the article.

    Pimp: Some jerk is buying/threatening/hacking the telco so they'll redirect my calls to some other pimp! Wah!

    Telco: We've spent time and resources on these complaints and we haven't found any foul play. Most test calls go through fine and the ones which don't look like ordinary errors.

    Kevin Mitnick: The Telcos are so freaking stupid it's not funny. I blackmailed some poor schmoe into giving me some info that should have been protected, then called some other fool and pretended I was an employee to get more "secret" data. I cracked the system and used it to steal services from other people or to hide my real location.

    The Mob: Yea, we tried to set up a phone-redirect-to-our-pimps scam. Our guys got busted and spent years in jail. The enforcer we sent to horn in on some local pimp's business got busted and died in jail.

    My analysis? Pure sensationalism in it's style, but has some valid points.

    Any large company is going to be vulnerable to these kinds of exploits. It's just impossible for the right hand to always know what the left hand is doing. What Mitnick says may well be true.

    I have no doubt that prostitution is big business in Vegas, but just because one or two pimps aren't getting the kind of business they used to doesn't imply a conspiracy. Maybe jons got smarter and started using the net to look up hoes? [google.com]

    As far as the conspiracy? I would be very suprised if they privy enough to Sprint's info to avoid detection. Not doing something illegal when the boss is looking is a lot harder if you don't know when the boss is looking. As we've already established, the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing, how is a third party supposed to be on top of test schedules and investigations?

    Steven

  • I used to work for a cellular service provider with Nortel and Lucent switches. The interface parts of the switches are fairly standard UNIX boxes. There were always accounts that we didn't change the passwords so that the techs from the manufacturer could get in. Typically there were modems on the switches, so that's one way in. Our switches were behind our firewall, but who can say you couldn't beat that? Once you get in call routing is no problem and if you can get root you can own the switch like any UNIX system.
  • by pcidevel ( 207951 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @01:16PM (#221465)
    Funny, last time I called a vegas hooker I had no problems at all getting through..
  • Last time I was there, I was driving down the freeway right behind the strip and the big electronic screen for one of the casinos -- I forget which one, but I think Bellagio -- that is supposed to show what's going on there had nothing but a blue screen. In the corner you could see one corner of a gray box with the text Dr. Watson ... My friends and I all got a good laugh.
  • Gamble and lose?

    Perhaps you should play the lottery.
    After all the stupid tax can always tax you more if you want it!


    The Lottery:
  • That's why Papa John delivers after I call Pizza Hut!
  • According to that book I read, they won a bunch of radio call in contests like that. By the way, it's pretty funny that Justin Peterson became an FBI snitch and was one of the people who helped track down Kevin Mitnick.
  • by Mutantfrog ( 250103 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @02:56PM (#221470) Homepage
    I'm surprised no one has mentioned this yet, but Poulsen himself (that article's author) was involved in almost an identical scheme to the one he's writing about. At least according to the book "The Watchman" by Jonathan Littman. In the book Littman describes an operation in which Kevin Poulsen rerouted the phone numbers of escort services which had been advertised in the yellow pages in California but had since been shut down by police to the offices of a pimp/escort agency that he was partnered with. I respect Mr. Poulsen for his current work (and his younger exploits if true are pretty damn cool), but what he's writing about here is so similar to something he used to be involved in may warrant some disclosure on his part, or just passing the article to someone else to write. By the way, one notable difference between the article and his own actions is that he was only supposed to have rerouted abandoned phone lines, not currently active ones.
  • by jhantin ( 252660 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @12:57PM (#221471)
    Speaking as someone who used to work for a (yes, totally legit) dot-com startup in Las Vegas that went public successfully, I think I can say that there's more to IT in Las Vegas than just people trying to cover up shady businesses. Admittedly, it's difficult to get decent pay there, but the cost of living is probably about half that of Silicon Valley (and electricity costs US$0.07/kwh!). For comparison, 50k/yr in Las Vegas is probably comparable to 85k/yr in Silicon Valley. As one IT manager in Las Vegas told me, though, you go to Silicon Valley for personal/career development, but Las Vegas if you want to keep the money you make. :-)
  • You know, for a place that hosts Comdex and DefCon, a lot of computer people don't seem to realize how tech-driven Las Vegas really is.

    Absolutely!

    I managed an R&D data center with oh maybe 600 servers or so - lots of small boxen with their own disks, etc plus a handufl of LARGE Auspex/Net Appliance/HPUX K&N-Class type boxes. Well, we decided to try and centralize storage for as many systems as possible to improve backups, get better utilization of RAID storage, ie what we paid for, etc

    So we were dealing with a bunch of he big name SAN vendors (Clarion, EMC, etc) So durin gtheir roadshows with us - giving us technical info ont eh systems and how they scale - they each trootted out as one of their 'big' customers who proved multi site SAN was workable and a good idea: Las Vegas Casinos. The data networks and systems tracking everything there are IMMENSE and it was amazing to get even a high level glimpse of how it was all setup. Absolutely mind boggling.

    --

  • Well, perhaps, but...

    Why is everyone concentrating on Sprint? All these hotels have monster PBXs - heck a few probably have DMS-100 class systems given the # of lines they require - a bit much for all but the beefiest PBXs.

    It would be trivial for them to redirect the calls - either manually or even automagically with routing tables. Since they own it - they can easily do it and I honestly can't imagine it would fall under the jurisdiction of the PUC since it ain't a public utility! THey own the PBX, you use their phones, and as long as they meet various requirements (you can reach 911, etc) no problem. I honestly wonder if doing in on a PBX would be illegal! And eve nif it was - and they did - Sprint would still be out of the picture.

    --

  • http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/18950.html [theregister.co.uk]
    Anyway I can resume the article by: "Crooks meet phreakers in Vegas and become life-long friends. Sprint denies."
  • by TDScott ( 260197 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @12:53PM (#221475)
    The Register [theregister.co.uk] has the article here [theregister.co.uk].

    For the HREF paranoid:
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/18950.html

  • riney, there are no 'hookers'. That would be ilegal. However, if your interested in some live fully nude adult entertainment, sent to your hotel room, that can be arranged.
    ---
  • it seems unlikely that this could be true.

    I think that any investigator with a free weekend could find out if you can in fact call these people during certain times from motel rooms, jail, wherever.

    Now whether Las Vegas itself is a scam is another story.

  • I dont know about the last two, but pimps and prostitutes? sounds like my idea of a fun weekend....

    There's probably an ad campaign in the works for a new calling plan. Now Sprint customers can keep in touch with their friends and relatives, and earn rewards points towards good for lap dancers sent direct to their home or office. The only downside is that their office must also subscribe to Sprint, or find themselves facing a sudden and inexplicable lack of phone-based business.
  • First, a conspiracy is an attempt to cover up the truth, but in this context it doesn't really fit. Technically it does, but we're talking about mob style criminal acts. And like they stated in the article, it could have just been informants on Sprint's side that were helping to facilitate this call routing scheme, so it is quite possible that they knew not to re-route calls when Sprint went to test them.

    Second, should we expect anything less than a seedy underbelly to all in the 'City of Sin'?

  • No shit. Did you notice that if you right-click in the story frame and select "Open Frame in New Window" that the whole page opens in the new window? Have to turn JavaScript off first to just get that frame.

  • by r_j_prahad ( 309298 ) <r_j_prahad@hotm a i l . com> on Tuesday May 15, 2001 @02:06PM (#221481)
    Unless things have changed since I lived there, this isn't a conspiracy - it's just the same old overloaded phone system. Vegas is one of the fastest growing metros in the country, and the local telcos have never, ever, been able to keep up with the growth. Sucky SS7 links and an undercapacity PSTN do not a conspiracy make.

    The population doubles on the weekends, so of course the phones start going intermittent every Friday evening. People who live there oughta know that.

  • Hey, after listening to one or two calls for jollys I imagine the thrill wears off pretty quickly.

    Now imagine you're a poorly paid hotel PBX operator. "Knuckles" approaches you after work one night and offers you a few hundred bucks if you inform him of calls to escort services...

    And if you don't? He'll find somebody else...or worse. Is it that hard to imagine now?

    CTP

  • "pimps, prostitutes, and Gambino family mob hits to an explanation of Sprint's telephone infrastructure" I dont know about the last two, but pimps and prostitutes? sounds like my idea of a fun weekend....
  • I guess when Kevin Mitnick says "Vegas was easy", he isn't talking about the same kind of "easy" that everyone else is. And people tend to take him pretty seriously when he says that there are holes, being arguably the most notorious hacker/cracker in recent years.
  • The mafia must be blocking the web site, too; I can't reach it!
    ...
    Oh wait, I get it.
  • Poulsen was involved in a scheme that blocked callers from a radio station contest line, except for lines belonging to him and two others. I believe they won a Porsche. Heck, I have the case around here somewhere (my lawyer cited it in my case.)

    Here it is. It's an appeal ruling for another guy, Justin Peterson. But it metions Poulson and Ronald Austin winning at least two Porsches, $30,000 cash, and two trips to Hawaii. Sweet. I hope they got to enjoy it for a bit before their lives got completely fucked by the bust.

  • Depending on if it's a PBX or Centrex that the hotel is using. Centrex is controlled by the LEC, the customer need only to purchase the number of trunks required to go into their premise.

    I know AT&T Canada Corp. is pushing Centrex more, in most cases it's less expensive to use, because the CLEC(us(AT&T Canada Corp.)) in this case looks after the equipment, making sure it has the latest software load, etc. The customer does not have to purchase the PBX equipment.

    Small companies and apartment buildings seem to use PBX more, because the number of lines needed is usually very small.

    I can't see a hotel using a DMS-x switch. For a DMS 100/200 the line size can grow to over 135,000 lines.
    -------

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