Demon Dialer

What Does Demon Dialer Mean?

A demon dialer was a specific type of hardware used in the
1980s and 1990s that allowed a telephone-connected device to repeatedly call a
telephone number. This was often done to access crowded modem pools. Other
uses involved winning radio call-in contests and annoying various telephone
respondents. The demon dialer could also be used to call a long sequence of
telephone numbers consecutively.


Techopedia Explains Demon Dialer

The demon dialer device and technique was popularized by a 1983 movie called “War Games” starring a young Matthew Broderick. This movie shows the demon dialer in use as part of an early hacking technique eventually called “phreaking.”

After the days of dial-up, demon dialers largely became obsolete. New hardware and software products called “war dialers” became effective in targeting different kinds of telephone-connected systems for the purposes of hacking. “Phreakers” used war dialers and other tools to avoid long-distance charges, or to access internal networks through a telephone line. Eventually, as the use of telephone land lines for internet transmission was phased out, phreaking and the use of tools like war dialers became less effective.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.