What can someone do with a MAC address? Watch

This discussion is closed.
NewFolder
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 7 years ago
#1
Could someone who knows the WLAN MAC address of a mobile phone do anything malicious to the device at all? Or any other type of computer/device for that matter?
0
saberahmed786
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#2
Report 7 years ago
#2
Nothing really...MAC address only identifies a network communications device. Some ISPs only allow certain MAC addresses to access their service, and routers can be configured to only allow certain MAC address to connect through it. If you know the MAC address of someone's device it is possible to 'spoof' it and steal someone's internet connection. The only way you can connect to a computer remotely is using an IP or Internet Protocol address, and even then there are many security features in place to prevent you from doing such.
0
FranticMind
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#3
Report 7 years ago
#3
(Original post by NewFolder)
Could someone who knows the WLAN MAC address of a mobile phone do anything malicious to the device at all? Or any other type of computer/device for that matter?
It is effectively like having the registration of your car. It uniquely identifies hardware on a network, you can change it but there really is no need.

In other words if you joined a wifi network then someone looking for your phone with access to that network could then identify your phone. Worst case scenario is that someone could change their mac address to yours and cleverly intercept your traffic by spoofing.

A criminal could also commit a crime with hardware pretending to be your phone. There are no real implications of this however as I don't think MAC addresses hold up in court as identification evidence.
0
The_Internet
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#4
Report 7 years ago
#4
(Original post by FranticMind)
It is effectively like having the registration of your car. It uniquely identifies hardware on a network, you can change it but there really is no need.
Well I knew a fair few people who spoofed their MAC address at uni ie: plugged a switch in, and had other devices running on it

It's also useful if you've managed to get access to someone else's network, where MAC address filtering has been enabled and you know a MAC address on that network. So you spoof your MAC address for those reasons

I've also known people to change MAC addresses on fake dreamboxes, because having more than one device in the house caused communication errors
0
mfaxford
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#5
Report 7 years ago
#5
As others have said there's not a lot that can be done with a MAC address. It's only visible on the local network, so if you've got a router at home your provider won't see the MAC address on your PC.

About the only thing that could be done maliciously with a mac address might be to continue using your internet connection on a wifi network that uses web based authentication, but if you're on such a network there's likely to be plenty of other worse attacks they could be doing.
0
NewFolder
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#6
Report Thread starter 7 years ago
#6
Thank you for all your replies.

(Original post by FranticMind)
In other words if you joined a wifi network then someone looking for your phone with access to that network could then identify your phone. Worst case scenario is that someone could change their mac address to yours and cleverly intercept your traffic by spoofing.
Would the attacker have to be connected to the same network in order to do this? If so, would it matter whether the network was an open network or encrypted?
0
ch0llima
Badges: 16
#7
Report 7 years ago
#7
(Original post by NewFolder)
Would the attacker have to be connected to the same network in order to do this?
Yes, because MAC addresses are used instead of IP addresses to forward Ethernet frames on the same subnet or physical network segment. They are not passed or known outside of this.

Look up Address Resolution Protocol (ARP).

If so, would it matter whether the network was an open network or encrypted?
Not sure about this and don't have the time to look. I think encryption would thwart you as it would prevent you joining the network and seeing this traffic... can't remember.
0
FranticMind
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#8
Report 7 years ago
#8
(Original post by NewFolder)
Thank you for all your replies.



Would the attacker have to be connected to the same network in order to do this? If so, would it matter whether the network was an open network or encrypted?
It really depends on the context. If it was a wifi network and you were connected then you would not need to connect as you can see the MAC addresses of all devices broadcasting.

Encryption works on the data of the packet and so the content would be encrypted but the header would be intact. Meaning it would not matter if you had access to the information anyway.
0
Eric mitchell
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#9
Report 2 years ago
#9
How about wifi Mac address
0
RoyalSheepy
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#10
Report 2 years ago
#10
(Original post by Eric mitchell)
How about wifi Mac address
Hi there! :wavey:

This thread is from 2012. In future please check the dates before posting!

Thread closed. :yy:
0
X
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

How are your mock exams going?

Love them - Feeling positive (11)
6.55%
They've been reasonable (69)
41.07%
Not feeling great... (44)
26.19%
They are TERRIBLE! (44)
26.19%

Watched Threads

View All