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The person underneath her boot whimpered fortunately. Operating as a dominatrix at a BDSM dungeon within the San Fernando Valley was once higher than streetwalking, and the cash was once stupendous. On the Leather-based Fortress, she known as herself Jeanine; newly sober and satisfied to be alive, she held the trade finish of the whip. She charged males masses of greenbacks for a 30 minutes consultation simply to lick her ft, greater than sufficient cash to shop for all of the laptop tools she sought after. 

Her tiny rental in Van Nuys was once totally kitted out — she known as it the hacker den. She arrange her personal four-way telephone convention line, Speedy Relay, and spent her unfastened time posting to bulletin board methods about phone loopholes and vulnerabilities. In her first posting to the phreaker discussion board 8BBS, she introduced herself with gusto. “I’m new in laptop phreaking and don’t know that a lot about methods and get entry to. I’ve, then again, been a telephone phreaker for reasonably some time and know so much in regards to the topic of phones…by way of the best way, I’m a 6 foot 2 inch blonde feminine with hazel eyes, weight 140, and I experience touring so much.” 

Remember that, she raised eyebrows — there weren’t many leggy blondes within the phone-hacking scene. However she was once a ways from being Los Angeles’ maximum visual phreaker. That name went to Lewis DePayne, a 20-year-old USC scholar identified within the phone underground as “Roscoe.” He’d not too long ago been the topic of a canopy tale in LA Weekly, through which he’d boasted that he may just use his mastery over the telephone community’s digital methods to void expenses, ranking unfastened plane tickets and lodge reservations, and change credit score ratings. Lewis was once a savant and, like Susan, appreciated being in keep watch over. The LA Weekly reporter wrote that he dialed telephones “like Bobby Fischer strikes chess items.”

Lewis ran a convention line, too — HOBO UFO (462-6836) — out of a Hollywood rental strewn with telephone manuals, laptop portions, and recording tools. Maximum of his callers had been highschool and college-aged children who’d heard about HOBO UFO during the grapevine; Lewis listened to their ambient chatter in his rental day and night time. He was once the Wizard of Oz., and Susan at all times made it her trade to peer in the back of the curtain. She known as up HOBO UFO, and when she popped at the line, Lewis recollects, she performed it cool. She acted as regardless that she already knew Lewis and prefer he must know who she was once, too.

When Lewis first noticed Susan in particular person, he clocked her in an instant. Her descriptions of herself had been correct: she was once very tall, taking a look down thru feathery blonde bangs at the six-foot DePayne. He requested her what she did for a dwelling. With uncharacteristic reticence, she didn’t point out the Leather-based Fortress. As an alternative, she informed him she was once a intercourse therapist. He perked up. 

They began spending time in combination, swapping notes and sharing tools. One object of mutual fascination was once the TI Silent-700, a transportable terminal with an acoustic modem and two rubber cups it is advisable to sock a telephone handset proper into. Some nights, Lewis introduced Susan to the USC laptop middle, and she or he watched him surf networks across the nation. He presented her to his shut good friend, Kevin Mitnick, a teenage phreaker and Ham radio operator who would later spend many of the ’90s at the run from the feds. 

Lewis wasn’t the type of man Susan typically went for. He was once straight-laced, nearly puritanical, favoring espresso, donuts, and overdue nights surfing digital databases over intercourse, medication, and rock ‘n roll. He stored diligent data, filling notebooks with the names of native phone operators and get entry to codes that might grant him get entry to to the pc methods of airways, non-public firms, Western Union, and the DMV. Collecting this knowledge was once its personal type of energy. Realizing how one can use it made this faded, severe younger guy one of the crucial bad folks in Los Angeles. 

Susan fell in love. 

She and her new pals cruised the town at night time, on the lookout for unsecured dumpsters out of doors of telephone corporate workplaces. The manuals and interoffice memos they pilfered from the trash had been maps to the portions of the telephone community that had been hidden from view. Via leveraging the guidelines they discovered dumpster diving — the whole thing from inner jargon to get entry to codes and worker names — they had been in a position to drag extra complicated and bold scams.

It helped Kevin and Lewis to have a feminine collaborator; goals relied on her extra simply over the telephone, particularly when she performed a phone operator, who had been, in the ones days, all girls. It was once a job Susan performed gladly. Misrepresentation and subterfuge got here simply to her. As a social engineer, she at all times regarded as herself to be no less than their equivalent. Lewis, who was once at all times extra within the technical than the human facet in their craft, disagreed.

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