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 Post subject: MAC number and privacy in networks
 Post Posted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 6:35 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 10:36 am
Posts: 208
The MAC address almost uniquely identifies every network interface card and apparently the default is to transmit that number onto the Internet, sometimes attaching to a user's IP address and, in one case, embedding it into a URL in a security or authentication process. Some years ago, Intel offered a unique identifier in a processor and computer users squawked enough that Intel disabled the service except for owners who chose to turn it on (and institutions with many computers often did turn it on). That option was not offered to NIC owners, yet apparently few computer owners, if any, objected. Linux can let me use ifconfig to change the MAC number that is transmitted and IEEE, which specifies on MAC numbers, has reserved one for testing and related purposes (11:11:11:11:11:ab). Arguably, services besides our own that depend on knowing our MAC numbers should reject that number for most uses. An alternative is to own a bunch of cheap, even used, broken, and CPU-incompatible, NICs just to have their MAC numbers for use in lieu of the ones built into our machines. Meanwhile, I did not succeed in getting ifconfig in root in Fedora 10 Linux to do what I want; probably it's because I didn't know what to enter for hardware type and address family for my machine (evidently neither is eth0 or eth1). (Fedora 16 offers a random generator for MAC addresses or the option to enter it in a GUI but I question the legality of broadcasting intentionally false identification, especially into government-controlled networks, such as in public libraries, where it might be perjury.)


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 Post subject: Re: MAC number and privacy in networks
 Post Posted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 8:54 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:44 am
Posts: 5898
Fortunately you can easily change your Mac address if desired: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAC_spoofing

There are also many free programs available to help, such as: http://www.technitium.com/tmac/index.html

Scott.


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