Man faces 20 years in prison for selling hacked Comcast cable modems

It’s one thing to hack your cable modem for your own personal edification, but it’s another matter to turn around and sell hacked cable modems to people. I mean, that’s just common sense, right? Smoke all the dope you want, just don’t sell it to kids on the street. (You’ll note I used the word “dope” like a 70-year-old man.) Some guy in Massachusetts found out the hard way, and he now faces up to 20 years in prison and fines up to $250,000.

OK, so the sentence is 100 percent over-the-top, but that’s what a single count of conspiracy and a single count of wire fraud can get you in the Federal courts.

The guy, 26-year-old Matthew Delorey, was selling hacked Comcast cable modems that enabled users to obtain free Internet access. The hack wasn’t sophisticated: all he did was modify the modems’ MAC address so that it appeared to be another modem, one whose owner was paying for Internet access. But that’s a crime, they say, so off with his head.

What finally did him in was selling two of the modified modems to undercover FBI agents.

Let this be a lesson for you: if you want to hack your own cable modem for whatever reason, cool. But don’t be dumb enough to think you can make money off your little scheme. It’s bound to get you thrown into the clink.