Every single device that is connected to a network is associated with a unique identification number. This is a physical identification number associated with the device. You can call that number as the MAC address. Here, MAC refers to Media Access Control.
MAC address is given to hardware by the hardware manufacturer. You will not be able to make any changes to the MAC addresses of hardware devices you own. In other words, you cannot rewrite the MAC address. You don’t have the ability to change the MAC address as well. However, there are some software applications that you can use to mask the MAC address. The process of making your MAC address like this is called MAC spoofing.
How does MAC take place?
As mentioned earlier, all the endpoint devices that are connected to a network are associated with a MAC address. This MAC address can be used to detect the devices that are connected to the network. However, it is possible to go ahead and fake this MAC address. Hackers tend to do that to gain numerous advantages fraudulently.
The MAC address that you can discover on your devices is something unique. There are no two devices in the world that share the same MAC address. In fact, the MAC address is hardcoded into the network card of the device. Since it cannot be changed, the hackers tend to seek some software applications, which they can use to send out fake MAC addresses. Hence, all the outgoing communications done by your device will be sending out this fake MAC address. This is where you will become a victim of MAC spoofing.
One of the biggest threats associated with MAC spoofing is that it has the ability to bypass all the access control measures that you have implemented. Hence, a hacker will be able to get hold of the identity associated with a valid user through this technique. On the other hand, a hacker will be able to fool all the authentication checks that take place as well. Along with that, a hacker can hide a rogue device within any given network and take advantage of it in the future.
It would help if you kept in mind that MAC spoofing only has the ability to operate within a network. That’s because the routers are relying based on the IP addresses that are associated with different endpoints. However, there is a possibility to combine MAC spoofing along with IP address spoofing as well. This will allow all hackers to launch attacks from remote locations in an effective manner.
How can you detect MAC spoofing?
It would help if you had a clear understanding of how to detect a MAC spoofing attack. Then you will be able to clearly tell whether you have become a victim of it or not. When a MAC address is falsified, it will not be in a position to bypass a network.
It will not be possible for you to determine whether you have become a victim of MAC spoofing. However, a network manager will be able to locate that and tell you. That’s because the network manager has a clear understanding of the traffic coming from different MAC addresses. While analyzing that traffic, he can clearly tell what traffic is being generated out of a spoofed MAC address.
During MAC spoofing, a MAC address will usually be supplicated. Then the duplicated MAC would show that it is sending traffic into two different sources. This would take place simultaneously. The other telltale signs that you can use to detect MAC include locating a device, which seems to connect to a network from a different physical location within the network.
There are specialized tools that network administrators will use and effectively detect MAC spoofing. It has become essential for all the network administrators to think about getting their hands on such tools available. Then they will be able to monitor bandwidth and analyze traffic accordingly so that they can refrain from the negative effects caused by MAC spoofing.
How to prevent MAC spoofing?
MAC spoofing is a technique that is often being used to fool the access control lists. Along with that, this hacking technique can bypass authentication processes and engage with packet filtering. Due to the same reason, you will not be able to implement any straightforward security measures to ensure your protection against MAC spoofing.
However, you can use some workaround techniques to ensure your protection against MAC spoofing. Here is a list of some of the most prominent workaround techniques that you can use.
- Introducing alert based traffic monitoring measures
Implementing alert based traffic monitoring measures will be able to provide added protection to you against MAC spoofing. That’s because you will be able to go ahead and set up customized alerts. If there is an attempt, you will be able to get a customized alert delivered. If two MAC addresses are using the same IP address, you can easily get an alert.
- Intrusion detection
Another robust measure is available for you to ensure your protection is to use intrusion detection techniques. There are different intrusion detection systems that you will be able to implement and use. Once you start using that kind of system, you will receive all the support needed to monitor the activities that are not compatible with every user device’s ordinary behavior.
MAC spoofing is a common threat that computer users have to face in today’s world. Hence, it is important to be aware of the threat and take appropriate measures to ensure your protection. The network administrators will have to play a major role behind MAC address spoofing. They need to be equipped with the right tools and expertise.