Early 1960s > University facilities with huge mainframe computers, like MIT's artificial intelligence lab, become staging grounds for hackers. At first, "hacker" was a positive term that was used to describe a person with a mastery of computers who could push programs beyond what they were designed to do.
 Joe Engressia ('The Whistler', 'Joybubbles' and 'High Rise Joe') considered the father of phreaking. Joe, who is blind, was a mathematics student at USF in the late 1960s when he discovered that he could whistle into a pay telephone the precise pitch --the 2600-cycle note, close to a high A-- that would trip phone circuits and allow him to make long-distance calls at no cost.
 John Draper ('Cap'n Crunch') learns that a toy whistle given away inside Cap'n Crunch cereal generates a 2600-hertz signal, the same high-pitched tone that accesses AT&T's long-distance switching system. Draper builds a blue box that, when used in conjunction with the whistle and sounded into a phone receiver, allows phreakers to make free calls.
 Esquire magazine publishes Secrets of the Little Blue Box with instructions for making a blue box, and wire fraud in the United States escalates. Among the perpetrators: college kids Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, future founders of Apple Computer, who launch a home industry making and selling blue boxes.
 Ian Murphy ('Captain Zap') was the first hacker to be tried and convicted as a felon. Murphy broke into AT&T's computers and changed the internal clocks that metered billing rates. People were getting late-night discount rates when they called at midday.
1983 > In one of the first arrests of hackers, the FBI busts six teen-age hackers from Milwaukee, known as the "414s" after the local area code. The hackers are accused of some 60 computer break-ins, including from...