Computer Crime Research Center


Phone phreaker died

Date: August 22, 2007

A blind genius, who insisted on being 5 years old forever, has died in Minneapolis. He was 58.

Joe Engressia, who legally changed his name to Joybubbles in 1991, played a pivotal role in the 1970s subculture of phone phreaks after discovering at a young age that he could make free phone calls by whistling tones, The New York Times reported Monday.

The precursors of today's computer hackers, the reign of phone phreaks ended when digitalization replaced the tone-based system.

Born blind, Joybubbles had an I.Q. of 172.
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