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War dialing is a brute-force method of finding
a back door into an organization's network. It
is particularly effective against a perimeter
defense. Most organizations have telephone
numbers that are within a specified range and
begin with the same prefix. For example, let's
consider a fictitious company called Acme
Networks. All of the company's telephone
numbers begin with 895; there are 4,000
extensions; and the first extension is 1000.
The range of telephone numbers for Acme
Networks begins at 595-1000 and ends at
595-5000. War dialing usually employs an
automated dialing system (a program) to call
every telephone number for the organization,
searching for modem connections.
The program logs a telephone number
whenever it finds a modem. Later after the
program has called every extension, the
hacker can review the log for modems and go
back and attempt to break into the system to
which the modem is connected to gain access
to the network.
This method almost always works for large
organizations. When dealing with a company
with several thousand telephone numbers, the
odds are with the hacker that some of them
are connected to modems. I worked for a large
company that hired one of the big consulting
firms to test the company's network security.
The consulting firm was unsuccessful at
penetrating the corporate firewall. However, it
employed war dialing and identified several
telephone numbers that were connected to
modems. One of the modems was connected
to a PC running PC AnyWhere, which had been
enabled to allow someone to dial into the
office from home. The consultants were able to
gain access to the network by exploiting a
flaw in an early version of PC Any Where that
allowed a user to bypass the password
protection. Once on the network the
consultant was able to compromise almost
every system it hit, and no one detected the
illicit activity. The one exception was my
group; we detected the activity on the systems
for which we were responsible and made
inquiries into the source of the activity. It was
then that we were told that it had been a test
of the corporate network security.
The source code for war dialing programs may
be obtained easily at many hacker sites. Some
of the programs available are ToneLoc,
PhoneTap, and Blue Deep. If you are a
programmer, you may be interested in viewing
the code, but I do not recommend using these
programs. A word of warning is necessary
here: You should always be careful when
downloading programs on the Web, but when
downloading from hacker sites you need to be
especially careful. To understand why simply
reread the section on Trojan horses.
You Can Use Tools Like THC SCAN for war