TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: MIT's 5ESS: (was: NN0 Central Office Codes)

MIT's 5ESS: (was: NN0 Central Office Codes)

Joe Morris (
Fri, 11 Nov 2005 19:17:20 UTC (Garrett Wollman) writes:

> MIT has its own 5ESS and has for a long time (it was one of the first
> 5E's sold to a non-telco customer). There's a project on now to
> figure out what to do about it before it comes up for renewal next in
> a few years' time.

Thread drift question: how common are successful hacking (old
definition of the word "hack") attempts against MIT's 5ESS? When I
was at the 'tute long ago it had a SxS (in building 10 IIRC) with the
main number at UN4-6900, and one of the popular entertainments among
the student body was trying to find a live wire pair from which one
could dial "9" to make an outside call [*]. Occasionally someone
would manage to get into the switchroom and do a bit of rewiring,
although I don't recall ever hearing of any damage being done other
than a few unauthorized LD calls. (But one of the hackers' exploits
in 1961 or so was described in an article in Newsweek ... not for his
"informal" rewiring jobs, but for his use of what today is called
"social engineering" to make an international call from a campus-only

I'm having trouble imagining today's MIT students being able to resist
the challenge of hacking into the switch and making it do
"interesting" things.

There were other PABX systems on campus not connected to the "real"
phone system. The dorms had their own SxS plant (and a manual board
in East Campus, being converted to an automated plant as I left), and
of course the TMRC folk had a SxS exchange built into the model train
control system along with a lot of other WECo switchgear that somehow
found its way to building 20.

[*] which resulted in an entry in the TMRC Dictionary:

9th Level, the: A level of communication attained
most eminently by L. van Beethoven

Joe Morris

Post Followup Article Use your browser's quoting feature to quote article into reply
Go to Next message: Denise Reinecke: "Re: Sony, Rootkits and Digital Rights Management Gone Too Far"
Go to Previous message: TELECOM Digest Editor: ""
TELECOM Digest: Home Page