Service Theft in DOCSIS Networks (2017)

By Egbert Westervelt, Edward Florendo & Dave Belt, Irdeto

The following describes a technical proof of concept (POC), developed by the authors, and performed for a major U.S. cable operator. This effort looks at the prevalence of service theft on broadband networks,focusing initially on Data-over-Cable Service Interface Specifications (DOCSIS), but the technologies applied herein can extend to other networks including digital subscriber line (DSL), fiber and Wi-Fi.

The effort incorporated a two-tiered approach. The first component consisted of extensive forensic research via the Internet, using open sourced intelligence (OSINT) techniques, identifying known attack vectors directly from the hackers themselves. This qualitative intelligence was then used to develop a service monitor appliance designed to actively monitor for service theft.

The results of this comprehensive theft assessment are quite significant with regards to the level of theft involved. When one looks at the lost revenue, as well as the increased overbuild costs, it quickly becomes impractical to not address this hidden issue.

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