FBI Busts Alleged Boston-Area Modem Hacker

Federal law enforcement officials this week arrested the operator of Massmodz.com, alleging that he sold hacked cable modems with the intent to steal broadband Internet service.

Matthew Delorey, 26, of New Bedford, Mass., was arrested Thursday on wire fraud and conspiracy charges relating to his sale of hacked cable modems, according to the FBI.

According to the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's criminal complaint, Delorey sold Motorola SurfBoard 5100 and 5101 cable modems through his Web site that were reconfigured to allow them to be used for free, untraceable access to the Internet by "spoofing" the media access control (MAC) address. Delorey sold a hacked modem to a customer in the Bronx, New York, and also sold two hacked modems to an undercover FBI agent posing as a customer, officials said.

According to the FBI, Delorey marketed his hacked modems on Craigslist and posted an instructional video on YouTube, including one titled "Massmodz.com How to Get Free Internet Free Cable Internet Comcast or any Cable ISP - 100% works."

Delorey has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud. He faces a maximum sentence on each count of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.

In a similar case, the FBI in November arrested an Oregon hacker who called himself "Der Engel" for allegedly modifying Motorola cable modems to steal broadband service.