Monday, November 26, 2007

Hacker Flashbacks

For some reason doesn't have our current Eircom phone bill (to be resolved later), so I went to to just pay it thru their site with my Laser card. They needed me to set up an online account first, attaching it to our Eircom account number. No problem. Once done, I clicked on View Account Summary.

Yup, looks right, stuff like "Calling Line Identification Restricted", "Call Managment Serices" (typos theirs, my goodness), "Eircom mailbox". And "BB 1MB TRIA", hmm, that was at least six years ago, whatever.

But just below, it listed another phone number. And next to it was "Yes" for the column about itemized bills, even though I've not received any. I thought back and remembered the second phone line we set up when our original line failed the line test. Maybe they still list that number even though we cancelled the line a month later?

So I called it.

"Please enter your account number," a recorded woman's voice requested with a British accent. Fine, I keyed in my Eircom account number, all eight digits. After the last digit, I waited a moment.

"Please---", it started to say, but then there was a pause. "Sorry, it has not been possible to process your call, please try again later." Then it hung up on me.

Immediately I got the flashbacks of a teenage hacker. This would have inspired a run of a few days to find out who it is: trying other numbers to reach the next step in the menu? Spoof eircom's phone book to do reverse lookups? Google variants of the number? Try other symbols to try to connect to an operator? So many ways to try to figure it out.

What's answering the phone?

Ah, memories.