So I’m sure by now the entire world has read of TCNiSO, and their Sigma firmware. For those yet unaware, Sigma is alternative firmware for Motorola’s SURFBoard line of cable modems, which, when loaded via a rather ingenious hardware hack, allows users full control over their modem. Including, of course, uncapping.
For those unfamiliar with the subject, your cable modem could be faster; the speed is artificially limited by the cable company by tweaking settings in the cable modem. Not too long ago, when uncapping was a new thing, people would uncap their residential cable modem service and get truly mind-boggling throughput. Obviously cable companies were less than thrilled about this, and started cracking down. At the moment, as I understand it, uncapping is the exclusive province of the very brave and the very foolish.
But reading about Sigma got me thinking. Apparently these modems are typically configured to load their settings from an FTP server, presumably one operated by the cable company. As most uncappers have already discovered, modifying the settings for your modem will get you cut off, or perhaps even arrested - but what if the settings on the FTP server changed? It seems counterproductive to terminate all your customers.
I personally lack the skill (and, for that matter, desire) to do such a thing, but I’m sure that somewhere out there a clever geek with a black hat is working along similar lines.
Just goes to show: security is hard.