Hacking It: Guide To Harmless Hacking


how to break into a variety of answering machines

To show you, the reader, how to gain access into these newer digital answering machines using the same techniques that were used 15 years ago

Gaining Access
The easiest way to gain access into an answering machine is to use it's preset access code. This is the access code set at default by the vendor on the given device. The best thing about this is that most users don't bother to change the access code to their device, if they even know that they have such a feature. Even worse yet, some of the manuals given for the device by it's vendor even tells the user that changing the access code is optional, not necessary. So of course since most people only do what they feel is necessary, these access codes are many times if not usually set at default. So what I'm going to do for you now is list the different popular vendors out there, and include their preset access codes, how to use them, and controls to use after gaining access. Keep in mind that if there is no model number beside the vendor, then that means that the information given works on most of their models. Likewise of course if there is a model identification beside the vendor name (placed in parenthesis) then that of course means that the information provided is model dependant. So let's begin, shall we?

1) AT&T - preset access code is 10 - when the answering machine picks up punch in the access code
7 - play messages
6 - play new messages
# - stop/pause
2 - repeat message
5 - skip message
4* - record announcement (push # to end recording)
41 - play announcement
* - record memo
33 - delete all messages
3 - delete selected
0 - turn system on
88 - turn system off
99 - change remote code

2) BellSouth - preset access code is 555, Mailbox 1: 555, 2: 666, 3: 777, 4: 888 - when the machine picks up hit * and then punch in the access code
0 - help (use this to get the commands available)

3) Freestyle - preset access code is 000 - when the machine picks up push in the D button and then punch in the access code
2 - play all messages
3 - play new messages
4 - skip back during messages
5 - delete during messages
6 - skip forward during messages
8 - play outgoing message
9 - record new outgoing message
0 - set answering machine on/off
1 - hear main menu

4) Vtech (VT650) - preset access code is 0000 - enter access code during announcement
#4 - repeat message
#5 - pause message
#6 - skip to next message
#7 - delete message
#8 - skip backwards
#9 - stop/exit any function
*8 - room monitor

5) Vtech (VT2650/VT2468) - preset access code is 50 - enter access code during announcement
#4 - repeat message
#6 - skips message
#5 - stops
#9 - delete message
#7 - review announcement (after beep press 7 to record an announcement and use #5 to stop)

6) Vtech (HK5886) - preset access code is 48 - enter access code during announcement
#1,2,3 - play new or old messages
#4 - repeat message
#6 - skip message
#5 - stop
#9 - delete message
#7 - review announcement (after beep press 7 to record an announcement and use #5 to stop)

7) Olympia (OL2410) - preset access code is 0000 - enter access code during accouncement
1,2,3 - select and play messages
4 - repeat message
44 - ignore message
6 - play next message
7 - delete current message
8 - record memo
9 - record announce (5 to stop)
0 - toggle answer on/off
* - play help menu

8) Doro - preset access code is 321 - enter access code right after outgoing message has played (or during)
1 - repeat/skip to previous message
2 - play/pause message
3 - skip to next message
4 - play current outgoing message
5 - record new outgoing message
6 - stop
7 - erase current message
8 - switch off answering machine
9 - switch on answering machine/select outgoing message
0 - (after playback) erases all messages
# - end playback
## - end call

9) Virgin Pulse cordless phone - preset access code is 123 - enter access code during outgoing message
1 - review current message
2 - skip to next message
3 - erase the current message
4 - play all or new messages
7 - repeat voice menu
0 - turn on/off TAD

10) Panasonic - preset access code is 11 or 1111 - enter access code during outgoing message
4 - new message playback
5 - all message playback
1 - repeat
2 - skip
9 - stop
7 - record new announcement (use 9 to end recording)

There are also a few random vendors that don't automatically preset an access code on the machine, forcing it's user to set one for themself. To test and see if your target has this type of setup press # when the machine start, and then press 0. If the machine returns to the annoucement then you know this is the kind of machine it is. Of course, in reality, this isn't all that bad of a scheme since you have 100 different combinations available for the access code. However, most users simply set these access codes as 11, 22, 69, etc. So yeah, just try it out. If it disconnects you after so many tries, call back from another payphone (which you should be using in this case).

It's just more proof that common sense just can't keep up with technology. We can create devices that can store more data, run such data more efficiently, & have it held on smaller devices, but it seems we just can't keep that data secure. No matter how many advisories are released, no matter how many security lectures are given, none of it matters, because in the end people prefer ease over security.

taken from an article on

Beginners' Series Number 4

How to use the Web to look up information on hacking.
This GTMHH may be useful even to Uberhackers (oh, no, flame alert!)

Want to become really, really unpopular? Try asking your hacker friends too many questions of the wrong sort.

But, but, how do we know what are the wrong questions to ask? OK, I sympathize with your problems because I get flamed a lot, too. That's partly because I sincerely believe in asking dumb questions. I make my living asking dumb questions. People pay me lots of money to go to conferences, call people on the phone and hang out on Usenet news groups asking dumb questions so I can find out stuff for them. And, guess what, sometimes the dumbest questions get you the best answers. So that's why you don't see me flaming people who ask dumb questions.


But even though dumb questions can be good to ask, you may not like the flames they bring down on you. So, if you want to avoid flames, how do you find out answers for yourself?

This Guide covers one way to find out hacking information without having to ask people questions: by surfing the Web. The other way is to buy lots and lots of computer manuals, but that costs a lot of money. Also, in some parts of the world it is difficult to get manuals. Fortunately, however, almost anything you want to learn about computers and communications is available for free somewhere on the Web.

First, let's consider the Web search engines. Some just help you search the Web itself. But others enable you to search Usenet newsgroups that have been archived for many years back. Also, the best hacker email lists are archived on the Web, as well.

There are two major considerations in using Web search engines. One is what search engine to use, and the other is the search tactics themselves.

I have used many Web search engines. But eventually I came to the conclusion that for serious research, you only need two: Alavista ( Dejanews ( Altavista is the best for the Web, while Dejanews is the best one for searching Usenet news groups. But, if you don't want to take me at my word, you may surf over to a site with links to almost all the Web and Newsgroup search engines at

But just how do you efficiently use these search engines? If you ask them to find "hacker" or even "how to hack," you will get bazillions of Web sites and news group posts to read. OK, so you painfully surf through one hacker Web site after another. You get portentous-sounding organ music, skulls with red rolling eyes, animated fires burning, and each site has links to other sites with pretentious music and ungrammatical boastings about "I am 31337, d00dz!!! I am so *&&^%$ good at hacking you should bow down and kiss my $%^&&*!" But somehow they don't seem to have any actual information. Hey, welcome to the wannabe hacker world!

You need to figure out some words that help the search engine of your choice get more useful results.


But let's forget all those Web search engines for a minute. In my humble opinion, the best way to search the Web is to use it exactly the way its inventor, Tim Berners-Lee, intended. You start at a good spot and then follow the links to related sites. Imagine that!

Here's another of my old fogie tips. If you want to really whiz around the Web, and if you have a shell account, you can do it with the program lynx. At the prompt, just type "lynx followed by the URL you want to visit. Because lynx only shows text, you don't have to waste time waiting for the organ music, animated skulls and pornographic JPEGs to load.

So where are good places to start? Simply surf over to the Web sites listed at the end of this Guide. Not only do they carry archives of these Guides, they carry a lot of other valuable information for the newbie hacker, as well as links to other quality sites. My favorites are and
Warning: parental discretion advised. You'll see some other great starting points elsewhere in this Guide, too.

Next, consider one of the most common questions I get: "How do I break into a computer????? :( :("

Ask this of someone who isn't a super nice elderly lady like me and you will get a truly rude reaction. Here's why. The world is full of many kinds of computers running many kinds of software on many kinds of networks. How you break into a computer depends on all these things. So you need to thoroughly study a computer system before you an even think about planning a strategy to break into it. That's one reason breaking into computers is widely regarded as the pinnacle of hacking. So if you don't realize even this much, you need to do lots and lots of homework before you can even dream of breaking into computers.

But, OK, I'll stop hiding the secrets of universal computer breaking and entry. Check out:
Bugtraq archives:
NT Bugtraq archives:

You can go to jail warning: If you want to take up the sport of breaking into computers, you should either do it with your own computer, or else get the permission of the owner if you want to break into someone else's computer. Otherwise you are violating the law. In the US, if you break into a computer that is across a state line from where you launch your attack, you are committing a Federal felony. If you cross national boundaries to hack, remember that most nations have treaties that allow them to extradite criminals from each others' countries.

Wait just a minute, if you surf over to those site you won't instantly become an Ubercracker. Unless you already are an excellent programmer and knowledgeable in Unix or Windows NT, you will discover the information at these two sites will *NOT* instantly grant you access to any victim computer you may choose. It's not that easy. You are going to have to learn how to program. Learn at least one operating system inside and out.

Of course some people take the shortcut into hacking. They get their phriends to give them a bunch of canned break-in programs. Then they try them on one computer after another until they stumble into root and accidentally delete system files. The they get busted and run to the Electronic Freedom Foundation and whine about how the Feds are persecuting them.

So are you serious? Do you *really* want to be a hacker badly enough to learn an operating system inside and out? Do you *really* want to populate your dreaming hours with arcane communications protocol topics? The old-fashioned, and super expensive way is to buy and study lots of manuals. Look, I'm a real believer in manuals. I spend about $200 per month on them. I read them in the bathroom, while sitting in traffic jams, and while waiting for doctor's appointments. But if I'm at my desk, I prefer to read manuals and other technical documents from the Web. Besides, the Web stuff is free!

The most fantastic Web resource for the aspiring geek, er, hacker, is the RFCs. RFC stands for "Request for Comment." Now this sounds like nothing more than a discussion group. But actually RFCs are the definitive documents that tell you how the Internet works. The funny name "RFC" comes from ancient history when lots of people were discussing how the heck to make that ARPAnet thingy work. But nowadays RFC means "Gospel Truth about How the Internet Works" instead of "Hey Guys, Let's Talk this Stuff Over."


Now ideally you should simply read and memorize all the RFCs. But there are zillions of RFCs and some of us need to take time out to eat and sleep. So those of us without photographic memories and gobs of free time need to be selective about what we read. So how do we find an RFC that will answer whatever is our latest dumb question?

One good starting place is a complete list of all RFCs and their titles at Although this is an ftp (file transfer protocol) site, you can access it with your Web browser.

Or, how about the RFC on RFCs! That's right, RFC 825 is "intended to clarify the status of RFCs and to provide some guidance for the authors of RFCs in the future. It is in a sense a specification for RFCs." To find this RFC, or in fact any RFC for which you have its number, just go to Altavista and search for "RFC 825" or whatever the number is. Be sure to put it in quotes just like this example in order to get the best results.

Whoa, these RFCs can be pretty hard to understand! Heck, how do we even know which RFC to read to get an answer to our questions? Guess what, there is solution, a fascinating group of RFCs called "FYIs" Rather than specifying anything, FYIs simply help explain the other RFCs. How do you get FYIs? Easy! I just surfed over to the RFC on FYIs (1150) and learned that:

FYIs can be obtained via FTP from NIC.DDN.MIL, with the pathname FYI:mm.TXT, or RFC:RFCnnnn.TXT (where "mm" refers to the number of the FYI and "nnnn" refers to the number of the RFC). Login with FTP, username ANONYMOUS and password GUEST. The NIC also provides an automatic mail service for those sites which cannot use FTP. Address the request to SERVICE@NIC.DDN.MIL and in the subject field of the message indicate the FYI or RFC number, as in "Subject: FYI mm" or "Subject: RFC nnnn".

But even better than this is an organized set of RFCs hyperlinked together on the Web at I can't even begin to explain to you how wonderful this site is. You just have to try it yourself. Admittedly it doesn't contain all the RFCs. But it has a tutorial and a newbie-friendly set of links through the most important RFCs.

Last but not least, you can check out two sites that offer a wealth of technical information on computer security:
http://GANDALF.ISU.EDU/security/security.html security library

Sometimes it's not easy to figure something out just by reading huge amounts of technical information. Sometimes it can save you a lot of grief just to ask a question. Even a dumb question. Hey, how would you like to check out the Web site for those of us who make our living asking people dumb questions? Surf over to That's the home page of the Society of Competitive Information Professionals, the home organization for folks like me. So, go ahead, make someone's day. Have phun asking those dumb questions. Just remember to fireproof your phone and computer first!


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