A telephonic mystery.

If you've known me for any length of time, chances are you've heard about my fascination with telephones and some of the weird stuff that you sometimes find if you misdial once in a while. Sweep tones, ringbacks, ANACs, and more unusual things. However, it's rare that some of those weird things happen to ring me up.

A couple of weeks ago I started getting phone calls at all hours of the day; not terribly unusual in itself, save that every time I pick up I hear a prompt to leave a voicemail ("Press one to leave a voicemail.") Ordinarily …

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DefCon 23: The Writeup

Well, I'm back from DefCon in sunny and hot Las Vegas, Nevada and more or less reinserted back into my everyday life. I'm just about caught up on everything that happened at work and finally finished the notes that are going to comprise this article. I'll type up the notes I took during the talks at DefCon in a couple of days; they've voluminous and I want to get the experience out of my head and into external storage before the memories fade much more. Unfortunately, I didn't make it to any of the villages so I don't have anything …

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Anonymous prankster leaves envelopes of money in bathrooms around Japan.

No, I'm absolutely serious: Somebody in Japan has been going into men's rooms of government office buildings in Japan and is leaving envelopes of 10,000 yen bills in the stalls for people to find since April of 2007. Nobody knows who's doing it (because the bathrooms there are the only rooms that don't have securicams) or why they're doing it, but the bundles of notes are left neatly wrapped in paper with the houshuu ('remuneration') written on each of them, along with a carefully handwritten letter stating that whomever is leaving the packets of money will find the cash …

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Cryptome taken offline without reason.

Cryptome is one of the longest-running websites on the Net for information related to personal privacy, whistleblowing and other sorts of information that make the people we're supposed to trust look bad. On 28 April 2007 John Young recieved a notice from his hosting company that Cryptome's plug would be pulled due to a violation of their terms of service agreement. It should be noted that this has happened many times since the site opened in 1999, and each time Verio has accepted Young's explanation for why a particular document was available. This time, they're accepting no reason at all …

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