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Oregon Man Convicted for Helping Thousands Steal Internet Service

The Department of Justice announced on Friday that a Redmond, Oregon, man who provided products and services to help users steal Internet services, was convicted on Thursday of seven counts of wire fraud.

According the Department of Justice, Ryan Harris, 26, owned and operated TCNISO, a company that distributed hardware and software tools that let users modify their cable modems in order to disguise themselves as legit customers and obtain Internet service without paying.

The Department of Justice announced on Friday that a Redmond, Oregon, man who provided products and services to help users steal Internet services, was convicted on Thursday of seven counts of wire fraud.

According the Department of Justice, Ryan Harris, 26, owned and operated TCNISO, a company that distributed hardware and software tools that let users modify their cable modems in order to disguise themselves as legit customers and obtain Internet service without paying.

Products that Harris sold included a packet sniffer, which he called “Coax Thief” that sniffed Internet traffic and enabled users to obtain the media access control addresses and configuration files of surrounding modems. TCNISO and Harris, who ran the operation from 2003 through 2009, also provided customer support, mainly through online forums on the TCNISO website, to help customers in their cable modem hacking activities, the DOJ said.

“Mr. Harris tried to hide behind the banner of freedom of access to the Internet, but the evidence established that he built a million dollar business helping customers steal Internet service,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer.

Each count carries a maximum prison term of 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000. Harris is scheduled to be sentenced on May 23, 2012.

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