“Media Access Control” Spoofing

The article on "Getting At Your PC’s Media Access Control ID Number" ( http://langa.com/newsletters/2004/2004-11-22.htm#2 ) brought this informative note:

You wrote: "MAC identification isn’t a foolproof security method". You can say that again! Spoofing a MAC address is simple using readily available utility programs, and MAC spoofing is even a standard feature on many DSL/Cable routers.

http://www.klcconsulting.net/Change_MAC_w98.htm (Windows)
http://www.bsdatwork.com/2004/06/19/mac_spoofing_on_freebsd/ (FreeBSD)
http://kbserver.netgear.com/kb_web_files/n101227.asp (Routers)

— Kevin Davidson

Thanks, Kevin. Using a MAC as the sole authentication for a network would be risky (and many wireless LANs are set up this way), but use of MAC addresses is still a generally good thing when it’s done as one of several overlapping security techniques. See "Wireless Poachers, Wireless Guests" at http://www.informationweek.com/story/IWK20021031S0004 .

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Fred Langa

About Fred Langa

Fred Langa is senior editor. His LangaList Newsletter merged with Windows Secrets on Nov. 16, 2006. Prior to that, Fred was editor of Byte Magazine (1987 to 1991) and editorial director of CMP Media (1991 to 1996), overseeing Windows Magazine and others.