the story:

during this past week, i received a bill in the mail telling me i owe something in the neighborhood of five hundred dollars from my old cable modem service provider (Cox Internet formerly TCA cable in College Station/Bryan, Texas). the reason he bill took so long to find me is because i have long since moved from my old address. but apparently i forgot to return my cable modem when i cancelled my service (which i did do. i called them up and said pls cancel! they said ok ) well i call them up promptly and ask about this and find out that according to them my cable modem has been online as recently as the last 24 hours. the funny part is that i go down to my storage garage and dig thru a bunch of cardboard boxes to finally find my magical cable modem which apparently uses up quite a bit of bandwidth sitting in that storage garage with no coaxial cable and no power cord! ( the dern things they come up with now ). i know for sure that the cable modem has not been online since i moved out. (since last may). but according to them, the serial number (probably matched to the mac address on the cable modem) has been active.

taking action:
so i'm ticked at this point. of course they want me to return the modem asap and pay my bill. i've been on my DSL connection since i moved and i've been paying for that, so i'm not too happy about also racking up bills on the cable that i haven't been using in addition.

now a few things have aroused my curiousity about this whole situation:

1. how is someone spoofing my MAC address/ serial number/ other identifying mark off the cable modem?

and can they track this guy down to his doorstep and find out who and where he lives?

2. how does cox internet's old terayon system authenticate the cable modems? ( link to terayon system cox uses: )

i'm irritated. i want something out of this so i'm looking to get authenticated to their network and hook my roommates up with the cable service while i use my dsl. what would you guys recommend as the best way? i've found the exact same modem online at ebay for 50 bucks that i can pick up and mess with. but will i be able to make use of it on the network by either somehow changing the MAC address (hopefully getting something authenticatable on their network) or maybe even just crudely swapping out the guts of the modems and giving them the guts of the new one and the outisde of the old one that has the serial number on it and just say.. "see! i'm not on it" but that could also lead to them blocking my mac address (is that possible?)

can i just buy that other modem on ebay and plug it in without much trouble?


should i attempt to get access to the newer docsis system they're using. (i don't have much info on that one yet but i can find out asap)

what do youguys think is the best approach to jumping on here? i'm not looking to uncap or anything.. (tho that could be a fun project for later!) but i am right now only looking to get on the network.

i'd be really really surprised if someone just had an answer to this, but mostly i am looking for sources online to check for this kind of stuff.. i've spent the last 10 hours looking aimlessly online for this info and i haven't had much success. in fact the 10 minutes i spent in was more informative than the previous 10 hours running thru search engines! - thanks matty!) if anyone knows of any good sources online for cable modem and or dsl (verizon) hacks and workarounds, etc pls pls let me know.. i'm really curious.

thanks in advance for your help guys!