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Comments on news posted 2006-09-21 20:10:44: "Hacking the Cable Modem" by Ryan Harris, No Starch Press (Amazon, 283 pages, with decent index) is a new book with the promising subtitle What cable companies don't want you to know. ..

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rawgerz
The hell was that?
Premium
join:2004-10-03
Grove City, PA

1 recommendation

bad idea..

I'm pretty sure I read in a few TOS from different cable CO's that if you do this, you will be permanently disconnected.

Or worse, they take you to court?


en102
Canadian, eh?

join:2001-01-26
Valencia, CA

1 edit
or worse... FBI showing up at your door with a warrant due to tampering, end up being hauled away with your possessions seized, and possibly spending some time in prison.


justin
..needs sleep
Australian
join:1999-05-28
kudos:15

1 recommendation

reply to rawgerz
yes if you read my review I mention that more than once. Nevertheless, the book exists and it is not illegal to purchase it, or read it.


FFH5
Premium
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Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
reply to rawgerz
said by rawgerz:

I'm pretty sure I read in a few TOS from different cable CO's that if you do this, you will be permanently disconnected.

Or worse, they take you to court?
Yes, you can find in the Comcast forum a number of posts of those who got caught and then come whine about how the big bad cable company permanently disconnected them from all cable services - including TV.
»/nsearch?q=unc ··· t7951755
»/nsearch?q=unc ··· 82158759
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Alpine
Premium
join:2000-01-11
Atlanta, GA

2 recommendations

Typical

Again theft being justified by "sticking it to the greedy corporations." I hope this guy isn't more than 15 years old... Most of us mature and grow out of that attitude around that point...

Adam


FFH5
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Tavistock NJ
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reply to justin

Re: bad idea..

said by justin:

yes if you read my review I mention that more than once. Nevertheless, the book exists and it is not illegal to purchase it, or read it.
Yes, it is legal and it very similar in ethics to those books on how to make homemade bombs. Perfectly legal and upheld in court numerous times on free speech grounds. But I would hope legitimate companies would refuse to carry and sell these books.
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Kosh
We are all Kosh
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Z'ha'dum
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·CenturyLink

1 recommendation

reply to rawgerz
I believe in some jurisdictions, yes, it could be considered "theft of service" and you could be taken to court for it, though most likely they will simply disconnect someone who uncaps. And as I understand it, the docsis protocol is pretty draconian and uncappers aren't hard to find.

Aside from that, it is the epitome of greed and selfishness. If there were uncappers on every block, service could degrade to less-than-dialup speeds.
--
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Kearnstd
Space Elf
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Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1
reply to rawgerz
doing what the book says can be illegal under theft of service(atleast the uncapping), the Author writing it and us owning and reading the book is thankfully still protected as a freedom of the press.
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LiberalKing
Intocable
Premium
join:2005-09-12
Bronx, NY
reply to Alpine

Re: Typical

tell me about it. im only for free downloads of warez/mp3/moviez to stick it to the big companies.
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Enlightener

join:2006-01-28
Cedar Park, TX

Unbelievable

I can't belive BBR would steep to such lows. Is this Slashdot?

Theft of service should never be publically condoned.


Bill
Premium,VIP
join:2001-12-09
reply to rawgerz

Re: bad idea..

»Nailed to the Wall


tiger72
SexaT duorP
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Saint Louis, MO
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reply to FFH5
Why? let the kiddies get permbanned by their ISP. Their parents will definitely appreciate it.


frankenfeet
934 is 10-8
Premium
join:2001-10-14
Smiths Grove, KY
reply to Enlightener

Re: Unbelievable

BBR isn't condoning it. They're simply stating that there's a book out that shows how it can be done. What if your neighbor was to clone your MAC address. Wouldn't it be nice to know how he did it so you can fix it where he can't do it again? After you beat his ass of course.
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porkchops
Premium
join:2003-05-17
Saint Marys, WV

The Author's Site

TCN-ISO, if anyone is interested.

The site has its own forum, a store, and general cable modem-uncapping miscellanea.

They also have a section on the book, accompanied by a brief summary of each chapter.


Nerdtalker
Working Hard, Or Hardly Working?
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join:2003-02-18
Tucson, AZ
reply to Bill

Re: bad idea..

I still remember that.

The good days of cable modem uncapping are over. Now, pretty much all bandwidth management is done through QoS policies instated at the headend itself, fewer and fewer cable ISPs are using the cable modems to enforce the bandwidth caps because of this specific vulnerability.

As long as the customer has access to the thing, it's vulnerable. QoS policies and headend-based management take those out of the user's hands, completely. Those two essentially render all the old serial-based SurfBoard hacks obsolete. There still are some neat things you can do, but not legally, or without getting caught.
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bmn
? ? ?
Premium,ExMod 2003-06
join:2001-03-15
hiatus
reply to FFH5
said by FFH5:

But I would hope legitimate companies would refuse to carry and sell these books.
Based on that logic, if something CAN be used for bad, then companies shouldn't carry it or sell it ?

Just about everything in your home would suddenly be gone from the shelves of every store.

Bleach, gone (because it can be used to make chlorine bombs more easily that you can hack your cable modem)... Guns, gone... Cars, all gone. Computes, poof! Phones, yep, them too. Children's Tylenol, done for...

No, that doesn't work. Instead of preventing this type of information from getting out, perhaps a consorted effort to show its value and explain its legitimate uses should be made ?

And of course, keeping the book from stores doesn't prevent someone with the slightest clue from firing up the internet and using Google.
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dvd536
as Mr. Pink as they come
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Phoenix, AZ
kudos:4
reply to rawgerz
said by rawgerz:

I'm pretty sure I read in a few TOS from different cable CO's that if you do this, you will be permanently disconnected.

Or worse, they take you to court?
Remember the buckeye cable incident?
speeds are now up there where uncapping is not worth the hassle.
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bmn
? ? ?
Premium,ExMod 2003-06
join:2001-03-15
hiatus

Some usefulness still remains...

I agree that most of this book's content is probably not worth the time because using it will get you slapped down, but the sections on accessing the SNMP functions of the modem would certainly make it worthwhile.

When I had cable, I would have loved the ability to use the SNMP functions for several reason, the least of which to let me know when my connection crapped out and I wasn't around to notice. Such information would certainly let me know how reliable my provider is versus what they claim to be. And of course, getting data on the traffic hitting my modem but not my router would be cool.
--
Ann Coulter doesn't know jack about science...
"Extremes to the right and left of any political dispute are always wrong." —Dwight Eisenhower


CPM
Broadband, DSL, cable

join:2001-08-24
Brooklyn, NY

20 megs

I get 20 megs now with OOL. Why would I need to hack it?


morbo
Complete Your Transaction

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free beer and the potential for more free beer.
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JRW2
R.I.P. Mom, Brian, Ziggy, Max and Zen.
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La La Land
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reply to CPM
said by CPM:

I get 20 megs now with OOL. Why would I need to hack it?
So you could change the configs to ACTUALLY get the 20 meg down, not the CAPPED 20meg config that yields LESS than 20 meg is TRUE throughput..
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rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

When will it end?

Although there will always be folks who want it to be free, hacking/pirating/stealing becomes a non issue when the product perceived as a value. I've said this many times regarding the music industry. If it only cost a few bucks to buy a new CD, pirating would be reduced to background noise. However, as long as the labels keep turning out "albums" that are 75% crap, who wants to pay $15? It's why on-line music sites have exploded -- folks can eliminate the crap from each album and only buy the songs they like.

If hacking cable modems is prevalent, there's a lesson for the cable companies. Either eliminate the gatekeeper role from the CPE and control it at the head end or figure out a way to give the P2P crowd what they want without killing the rest of us. For instance, why not provide a "P2P" package that provides dynamic bandwidth. That is, the P2P package gets a lower priority but it gets whatever bandwidth is left -- with a stop loss (i.e. minimum speed -- say 1Mbps). When the other "constant" packages aren't using the system, the P2P packages runs at 30Mbps or some equally outrageous bandwidth.


rawgerz
The hell was that?
Premium
join:2004-10-03
Grove City, PA
reply to justin

Re: bad idea..

I would try it just to see what it and if, it did anything. But I fear being cut off too much to ever attempt it.
I couldn't read it just too tempting


Vamp
5c077
Premium
join:2003-01-28
MD
kudos:1
reply to Enlightener

Re: Unbelievable

said by Enlightener:

I can't belive BBR would steep to such lows. Is this Slashdot?

Theft of service should never be publically condoned.
There is nothing at all wrong with hacking a cable modem, it violates nothing that I know of.

What process of hacking your property is illegal? Because I don't see any.

What is illegal/violation is hacking it and then using it on a cable network that does not belong to you (eg: an ISP).

As far as the book, there is nothing that would make it illegal... There are books about drugs, murder, etc. That doesn't make it illegal, books are for reading and learning, not for planning out or doing what you see in it.
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John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8
reply to FFH5

Re: bad idea..

said by FFH5:

Yes, it is legal and it very similar in ethics to those books on how to make homemade bombs. Perfectly legal and upheld in court numerous times on free speech grounds. But I would hope legitimate companies would refuse to carry and sell these books.
Hmmmm....

On one hand you say that the book is perfectly legal, then on the other hand admonish legitimate companies that might carry a legal product.
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John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8
reply to LiberalKing

Re: Typical

said by LiberalKing:

tell me about it. im only for free downloads of warez/mp3/moviez to stick it to the big companies.

--
A is A


Michieru2
zzz zzz zzz
Premium
join:2005-01-28
Miami, FL

1 recommendation

reply to FFH5

Re: bad idea..

Then it's best said to ban computer books which allow programmers to code applications. I like companies who carry books like these whether it be legitimate or not. Or do you think we should start burning these books simply because of there content?

Just like we should ban all guns to be given to citizens and only allow the army to have them. Or you think you are ok with them showing a burning flag but not of these muslims with a head shaped as a bomb because "it offends" them.

If you are going to be moral police on books you better apply it to everything and anything not just books and then you will see how unethical it really sounds.


phattieg

join:2001-04-29
Winter Park, FL

1 edit
reply to FFH5
said by FFH5:

Yes, you can find in the Comcast forum a number of posts of those who got caught and then come whine about how the big bad cable company permanently disconnected them from all cable services - including TV.
»/nsearch?q=unc ··· t7951755
»/nsearch?q=unc ··· 82158759
Yes, I will say that the CMTS is capable of running scripts under certain conditions. One condition, exceeding bandwidth allowance, auto-generates a ticket to one of the national ticket centers, and they review the log. Once they find the culprit, they determine the node they are on, and if you are persistent enough (keep hacking with spoofed MAC's) then they simply send a maintainence guy out to the neighborhood, and will disconnect you at the tap. Don't ask me how they locate people, but I think it has something to do with which return channel and amplifier you talk to the node with. Not sure about other companies, but about 3 years ago, I offered to "explore" the ability of undetectable hacking. Lets just say I wasn't able to get permission, but discovered a co-worker's roommate did it, and he was caught within 24 hours, woke up to no internet, came to work with supervisors waiting to talk to him about "why he hacked his modem". Luckly, he DOES have a roommate, and explained the situation. They took his internet away for about 3 years, and it took lots of occasional begging to get it back. He ended up having to prove his roommate wasn't living there anymore. This was 6 years ago, and I'm sure it's gotten much better. Although it would be neat to try, I definately wouldn't do it from my house, or modem.
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91439306
15,000 Watts of Bass Power

join:2002-10-16
New Milford, CT

1 recommendation

reply to bmn
Not so. The government won't take away things that are required to earn a TAXABLE INCOME. So cars definately stay, even though auto accidents kill more people in a year than the Viet Nam war.


cwy1980
Premium
join:2004-08-10
Monmouth Junction, NJ
reply to Michieru2
Should books discussing computer security/exploits be banned? How about all those books about rootkits that populate the shelves at Barnes and Nobles or Borders? What about the books talking about defeating WEP/WAP-enabled encryption on wireless routers?

Under your logic TKjunkmail, these are just as bad.

However they serve a helluva good purpose...they provide the information necessary for system administrators to ensure that as many vulnerabilities are assessed and addressed for their networks as is possible.

Don't bash a book because it contains information that can be used as an exploit. Anything can be used in a negative manner in life...
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