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Hackers have managed to fraudulently access Virgin Media's 50Mb fibre-optic cable broadband service, according to reports.

There are believed to be about 1,000 hackers who have managed to successfully clone old modems in order reach the new speeds offered by the broadband ISP.

It is thought that their firmware was updated on the old devices, allowing users download speeds in excess of what they are paying for.

"Virgin Media takes the issue of fraud on its network very seriously and, where appropriate, will prosecute," said Virgin Media in a statement published in the Register.

Continuing: "We have a range of tools that can detect fraudulent modems and service profiles on our network and a number of technological features which assist us in successfully addressing the challenge of fraudulent activity."

Virgin Media unveiled the new 50Mb service late last year, claiming that downloading a film would take just three minutes over the new connection.

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