[Tut]Hacking Cable Modems for Higher Speeds and Free Internet

Please note that the hacking of any service is a felony.

Cable Modem hacking is a medium-difficulty task. In this tutorial I will show you how to hack a cable modem, get free internet, and free Cable TV (if you need it).

Cable TV Network Structure
[Image: cable-tv-amplifier.gif]

Local office – has the uplink; connected to the nodes
Local node
– a router connected to the community hubs; you have to use a MAC address from another node or you won’t be able to get online
Community hub
– These are the little green boxes that serve your house; these are connected to bigger and bigger hubs until it’s connected to the node.Each node serves several hundred people. When you go on the network, you get automatically assigned an IP address. It checks your MAC, and if it’s not registered it tells your computer to use a private DNS server that gives you a “Buy our service” page when you try to go anywhere. But you can just use a different DNS server. If it is registered, you can get access immediately (you borrow someone’s MAC from another node); alternatively, you can set your modem to force network access.

This is an estimate of the cable TV network. This is backed by the fact that users have been using uncapped, unregistered modems for years and have not been caught. Cable companies can pinpoint your location down to the neighborhood level. Anyone who says otherwise is ill-informed.



Hardware Required

To successfully obtain free, uncapped internet, you need to have a modem which has been hacked:
Motorola SB3100
Motorola SB4100
Motorola SB4200
Motorola SB5100
RCA 245

However, for tutorials on most these you will need to look elsewhere. This tutorial will focus on the SB5100, as it is the easiest to modify (although the SB4100 and SB4200 may also be modified by this method).

You can pick up these modems on eBay. Alternatively, you can buy a pre-modified modem at TCNiSO or Theoryshare. I recommend TCNiSO, as Theoryshare uses illegal copies of the BlackCat software that TCNiSO made.

You will also need a JTAG cable, which you can make yourself (you’ll need a 10-pin header, and a ribbon cable that will connect to it, as well as a parallel port plug you can solder the ribbon cable to, as well as a solder iron) or you can buy it from TCNiSO or Theoryshare (again, TCNiSO is recommended). Besides being official, it’s better made. The TCNiSO cable will include an OFFICIAL license for the BlackCat software.

You’ll need BlackCat from TCNiSO.



Step 1: Solder the header
[Image: oafjkaabf.jpg]

Kind of blurry, but easy to follow. Grab your 10-pin header (get from radioshack or desolder from an old electronics board). It’ll have a black plastic piece with 10 pins sticking out of it. One side will have more pin sticking out than the other; looking from the top of the cable modem, place the short end through the holes. Use some electrical tape and tape it tightly to the board. Torn it over, and solder the pins to the board. Make sure that the solder doesn’t touch any other electronics or pins. Make sure that you don’t heat any pin long enough to melt the plastic shroud; this will set you back a bit, as you will have to melt the shroud and push the pin back in place.

Take note of the pin hole that has the square.

Step 2: Making the Cable
[Image: oafjgaabf.jpg]

Very simple image, easy to follow. You’ll need a DB-25 connector, with access to the pins on the back (so you can’t just rip apart a printer cable; go buy a proper one at Radioshack). Picture has a bunch of circles and one square. See this to find out what it will look like on your board. Please note that this is a view of the FRONT of the connector (so everything is flipped around when you solder to the back).

I would recommend getting as long a ribbon cable as possible.

Step 3: Install Blackcat Software
I don’t think I need any pictures or special instructions. There’s a download link above. Install it.

Step 4: Connect cable to modem
Make sure you connect the cable the right way. Also make sure you connect the power cord to the modem and wall.

Step 5: Connect cable to PC
Plug the cable into the parallel port. Recommend setting it to ECP+EPP in your BIOS.

Step 6: Start Blackcat software
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When you start BlackCat, if everything is working properly and you didn’t screw up the cable, your screen should look something like this. It’s very important that it reports the manufacturer and part, and that it connected to the flash. If not, nothing will work.

Step 7: Detect flash
) Click on the ‘Flash’ tab, click ‘Detect’. Check confirmation that the flash is detected.

“Detected a MXIC MX29LV160AB flash ic”

Step 8: Backup your entire flash
On the flash tab, click Read All and save the file somewhere. THIS IS A COMPLETE BACKUP OF YOUR MODEM. If anything goes wrong, you’ll need this to restore it. It will take about 10 minutes. Make sure the box on the right (under Size) says 0x00.

Step 9: Bootloader
Go to the SB5100 tab. Under “Install new bootloader”, click the folder and open up “SIGMAX-BL_v2.6-LITE.bin” (look in the software download link above). Then click flash. (if you get a Device not connected error, restart. If you still get it, you messed the cable up, or your parallel port isn’t configured properly)

Step 10: Firmware
On the SB5100 tab, click “Check” at the bottom. Then click Program. It should ask you to find a file. Download this file: http://rapidshare.com/files/30844399/SB5…d.13.5.zip unzip it and use the .bin inside there (it’s the bin other than the bootloader).

Step 11: Reboot Modem
Disconnect the cable from the modem. Remove the power cord. Connect your computer to the modem with an ethernet cable. Plug the power back in.

Step 12: Online configuration
Set your IP address to (gateway, mask
Enter “” into your browser. If you see a Sigma page, you did good. Change the last few digits of the MAC and Serial (keep the serial numbers only, and keep the MAC 0-9/A-F) so you don’t get caught. Turn on baseline privacy and stealth mode, and forced network access. Turn off all the others.

You also need to change the conig file. Check the forums at theoryshare.com or tcniso.net to see what config file you’ll need to change it to.

Step 13: Change IP
Change your IP to automatic. It should pull a new IP from the modem, and you should now have internet access.

Additional Help
Inside of the software package listed above, you will find additional guides and images to help you in your quest.

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