Theft Of Service In High Speed Data Services: A Way To Deal With This Difficult Problem (2003)

By Jonathan Schmidt, PerfTech Bulletin Services

The residential HSD/Internet services environment is experiencing rapid technology changes. The providers’ management tools have not kept pace. That has exacerbated the vulnerability and extent of service theft. Consequently, the tools must change. Some have, as in the newer set-top boxes; DOCSIS 1.1 CMTS/modems use strong certificate-based authentication to prevent service theft through modem cloning and spoofing. At the same time, home networking equipment has become very inexpensive, is common even in MSO offerings, and has filled computer store shelves. With this equipment, the home network devices become anonymous and can exist in large numbers behind a single modem. Similar to the downstream portion of the analog video cable plant, high quality Internet access can be replicated in a treeand- branch architecture behind that modem and serve many users. WiFi products enable this architecture to be implemented with invisible, wireless links that are also open to opportunistic taps. These links are not susceptible to on-site inspection to check for redistribution. This paper presents an in-band communication channel that can target all workstations on suspected accounts with unblockable screen alerts, which will utilize these invisible links to become an essential tool in combating such theft.

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