US federal authorities arrested a 26-year-old man for allegedly selling modified cable modems that enabled free Internet access, according to the US Department of Justice.
Matthew Delorey of New Bedford, Connecticut, is charged with one count of conspiracy and one count of wire fraud. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison for each charge, and a $250,000 fine.
Delorey allegedly ran a now-defunct website called Massmodz.com, where hacked modems were sold. The modems had been modified in order to spoof the device's MAC (Media Access Control) address. It is possible then to either obtain free Internet access or make it appear that a different modem is obtaining access.
Authorities alleged that Delorey sold two of the modified modems to an undercover agent of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The videos Delorey allegedly posted to YouTube showing how to get free Internet access through modified cable modems probably won't help his case.
He allegedly posted instructional videos with titles such as "Massmodz.com How to Get Free Internet Free Cable Internet Comcast or any Cable ISP - 100% works" and "Massmodz.com How to bypass Comcast registration page with premod cable modem SB5100, SB 5101."
Federal authorities have recently moved against other people regarding cable modems.
In October Ryan Harris, 26, was arrested for allegedly running a San Diego company called TCNISO that sold customisable cable modems and software that could be used to get free Internet service or a speed boost for paying subscribers.
Harris is charged with conspiracy, computer intrusion and wire fraud.