Feds indict alleged cable modem hacker

  • The US federal government has indicted an Oregon man for allegedly helping customers modify their cable modems to obtain "free" Internet access. ?

    According to the Department of Justice (DoJ), Ryan Harris and his company TCNISO developed hardware and software tools that provided unauthorized access to high-speed ISPs by utilizing stolen MAC addresses.

    In addition, Harris offered "ongoing" customer support via forums hosted on the TCNISO website. ?

    Harris - who is being charged in a six-count indictment - faces a maximum 20 year prison sentence, 3 years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine and restitution on each count.

    It should be noted that a former TCNISO customer known as "DShocker" was recently apprehended and charged in federal court with computer intrusion, interstate threats and wire fraud.

    Update:

    PC World explains that the MAC addresses were taken from legitimate subscribers using software created by the accused. ??Harris also allegedly modified a modem configuration file to enable broadband speeds by up to 10 times.

    Finally, Harris reportedly designed a product known as "SigmaX" that blocked ISPs from identifiying and probing modified modems.

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