MAC security (Re: Question about Wireless)

Miano, Steven M. Steven.Miano at
Tue Nov 27 15:40:15 UTC 2007

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ubuntu-users-bounces at [mailto:ubuntu-users-
> bounces at] On Behalf Of Felipe Figueiredo
> Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2007 10:13 AM
> To: Ubuntu user technical support, not for general discussions
> Subject: MAC security (Re: Question about Wireless)
> Em Tuesday 27 November 2007 12:45:26 Nils Kassube escreveu:
> > MAC filtering means that the AP only talks to a known set of MAC
> > addresses. It isn't secure because you can set some (maybe all?)
> wireless
> > cards to arbitrary MAC addresses - but there are problems doing it. 1)
> It
> > may be illegal. 2) If the real owner of that MAC address is active there
> > will be lots of collisions and possibly both clients can't do anything
> > usefull.
> Interesting. I assume one would have to know beforehand of a permitted MAC
> in
> order to use this attack vector.
> Just out of curiosity, is there any known way (not brute force) to
> discover
> such permitted MAC addresses that script kids can exploit?
> > Anyway, if you want to have a rather secure wireless network,
> > use WPA/WPA2.
> I already do, thanks.
> FF
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The WAP I use at home only accepts 4 different MAC addresses, my laptop, my work laptop, my roommate's laptop, and my roommate's work laptop. It also only allows for 7 IPs to be leased out from it, ever. If someone were to sniff the packets and discover any of the 4 different MAC addresses and then spoof the MAC address with their own computer, that's fabulous, and if they really want to go that far to use our internet connection, good on them.

Sniffing packets at a local Starbucks you can farm MAC addresses if you really want to, but really it's not something that anyone would really have an interest in doing.

Seriously though, how secure do you need your WAP, and what do you do for a living that you need to wear that tin foil hat?

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