MAC stands for Media Access Control.
It is a Permanent, Physical, Unique (in the world) “code” assigned to a physical object that allows to connect to a network. This code is the address assigned by the device manufacture.
A MAC address is something like this:
It’s composed by 6 octets. First 3 represent the company that made the device (Organizationally Unique Identifier). The other 3 represent are assigned by the producer and has to be unique inside it.
This address never changes. It will be always the same.
The mac address is used to identify devices on the network.
So every packet that is sent in the network has a source MAC address and a destination MAC address.
Why to change MAC address
- Because of above, changing your MAC address will make you anonymous in the network,
- If there is a filter in the network configuration you can bypass it
- You can “impersonate” another device changing you MAC with the one you want to impersonate,
How to change the MAC address
first of all let check which network interface we have. Let’s execute the following commanf:
The result will contain all your network interfaces.
The MAC address is the code just after the ether label, and it is in the form like xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx
In order to change it first we must disabled that interface, with the following command:
ifconfig <interfacename> down
Then we change the MAC address specifying that we want to change the hardware address “hw ether
ifconfig <interfacename> hw ether 00:11:22:33:44:55
Finally we eneble the network interface
ifconfig <interfacename> up
The original MAC address is back once the device is restarted