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jjoshua
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Scotch Plains, NJ
kudos:3

1 edit

Why hide a MAC?

Why do people need to hide their mac addys?


sortofageek
Runs from Clowns
Premium,Mod
join:2001-08-19
kudos:23
I split your post to a new topic from this one ---> »[Connectivity] Neighbor using MY router to connect to Internet?
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Join Team Helix * I am praying for these friends .

ctggzg
Premium
join:2005-02-11
USA
kudos:2
reply to jjoshua
Ignorance? Paranoia? Dyslexia? Pick one.


sortofageek
Runs from Clowns
Premium,Mod
join:2001-08-19
kudos:23
reply to jjoshua
"Ignorant" or not, I have posted my thoughts here a couple of times.

»Re: Unable to get speed upgrade!

»Re: Continued issue with incorrect config file pushes to SB5101
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Cabal
Premium
join:2007-01-21
Reviews:
·Suddenlink
reply to jjoshua
said by jjoshua:

Why do people need to hide their mac addys?
Because they don't understand how network layers work.

00:0e:0c:c6:3b:7d here, come hack me...
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Why did Obama sue Citibank under the CRA to force it to make bad loans?


sortofageek
Runs from Clowns
Premium,Mod
join:2001-08-19
kudos:23

2 recommendations

After reading the links to my posted opinions above, please note my reasons have nothing to do with how network layers work or fear of just anyone being able to hack me because I posted my MAC.
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priller

join:2000-10-20
Gainesville, VA
Network hacking wouldn't be an issue. However, social engineering may be.

The cable modem MAC is part of your account information. I wouldn't rule out the possibility of somebody calling Comcast CS and telling them to cancel the account. I would expect them to ask for more information like account number, name, address, etc. But, if you get a slacker, it may be possible.

???


dadkins
Can you do Blu?
Premium,MVM
join:2003-09-26
Hercules, CA
kudos:18

1 recommendation

reply to jjoshua
said by jjoshua:

Why do people need to hide their mac addys?
Do I/we need a reason?
Because I feel it will make my coffee taste better.

Less personally identifiable information of me or my machiines out there on the web.

Because, I sometimes take my computer(s) out to coffee shop hotspots and connect on fairly open access points using that very same wireless card with that same MAC address.
Laptops FTW!

Pick one.
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Think outside the Fox... Opera

priller

join:2000-10-20
Gainesville, VA
reply to priller

The cable modem MAC and the MAC of the attached device are two different things.


sortofageek
Runs from Clowns
Premium,Mod
join:2001-08-19
kudos:23
reply to priller
said by priller:

Network hacking wouldn't be an issue. However, social engineering may be.

The cable modem MAC is part of your account information.
Exactly.


delusion FTL

@algx.net
reply to priller
Unfortunately, thanks to the way Docsis works, comcast cable modem mac addresses are already broadcast to all subscribers in your area. It is trivial to pick up these mac addresses. Those that are in your area that can pick up your mac, are also probably the ones more likely to attempt to call and pretend to be you. Luckily Comcast doesn't make changes to an account just because you know a mac address (at least they're not supposed to), so it's irrelevant.

Bottom line:
Only comcast can link you from your mac posted on the internet.
Only comcast can access your modem using the mac address.
No one on the internet has access to your PC or can identify you by knowing the mac address of your PC.

As a result I don't mind sharing mine, but since I'm not at home I don't have access to it to share right now.

What mac address CAN reveal is the manufacturer or type of network device, if already unknown.


sortofageek
Runs from Clowns
Premium,Mod
join:2001-08-19
kudos:23

2 recommendations

From that which I know, I agree with this:

quote:
Bottom line:
Only comcast can link you from your mac posted on the internet.
Only comcast can access your modem using the mac address.

I have no problem identifying myself to Comcast officials with a need to know who I am, through official and monitored channels. In that capacity they are trackable and the company takes responsibility for their actions.

I do not reveal to them, however, that I am sortofageek See Profile on dslreports.com. If they happen to have some sort of grudge against me here, they have no reason to connect it with who I am as a real life customer of Comcast.

I have a different take on this:
quote:
No one on the internet has access to your PC or can identify you by knowing the mac address of your PC.

Many people "on the internet" and even frequenting this site and this forum are Comcast employees who could potentially associate sortofageek See Profile with who I am in real life if I posted my modem MAC. That would not only be the person(s) to whom I am speaking in a thread, but all of those who simply lurk and read. It could include someone who might wish to cause a member a little grief, given such an opportunity.

Now, please don't draw the conclusion I think Comcast employees are swarming the internet just for such purposes. I don't think that at all. I simply choose not to take a chance like that myself and, thus, I use official support channels when my modem MAC is required for troubleshooting.

My only purpose in speaking up is education. Many just don't know. Given knowledge of the possible risks, each one can weigh the risks and make an educated decision for their own situation.
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rody_44
Premium
join:2004-02-20
Quakertown, PA
Reviews:
·Comcast

4 edits
reply to jjoshua
FWIW, this thread was started as a result of a person protecting the mac address of his network card. not the mac address of a cable modem. go ahead and try to get comcast to change something based on that. hell even they dont know that. only your modem or router gives a shit what that mac address is. technically they scould log into the modem and check but if you really believe comcast is going to hunt for a certain lan card mac address i have a bridge to sell you. comcast does not log your mac address the modem does. and thats cleared every time you power cycle the modem. the only security concern i see would be if your neighbor happened to read your post. he could clone it and access your wireless router. since i only use a hardwired router and only my router even sees my mac address i could post it all day long and have zero concerns since the modem only sees the mac address of the router. comcast could hunt every connection they have and have no way to know my lan card mac address. same goes for the entire world.


tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to jjoshua
I much prefer people being cautious, even overly-cautious handing out individual information, particularly on a public forum, as compared to openly giving any info requested.
Not everyone who reads here will nessesarily know what is safe to reveal, when, to whom.


Johkal
Cool Cat
Premium,MVM
join:2002-11-13
Happy Valley
kudos:10
reply to jjoshua
Just a historical note: Before Comcast acquired Adelphia, MAC addresses were routinely given/posted as part of the help info requested by the Adelphia techs there. To my knowledge, no one ever posted saying their network was hacked because they posted their MAC publicly.
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sortofageek
Runs from Clowns
Premium,Mod
join:2001-08-19
kudos:23

1 recommendation

reply to rody_44
said by rody_44:

FWIW, this thread was started as a result of a person protecting the mac address of his network card. not the mac address of a cable modem.
My bad. I saw the question and didn't pick up on that fact.

Still, the question is asked in regard to the modem MAC often enough that I don't think the thread is a waste.

In regard to the NIC MAC, you said:
said by rody_44:

... the only security concern i see would be if your neighbor happened to read your post. he could clone it and access your wireless router.
Another potential risk and, again, given knowledge, people can make informed choices. Thank you for pointing that out.
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dadkins
Can you do Blu?
Premium,MVM
join:2003-09-26
Hercules, CA
kudos:18

1 edit

1 recommendation

reply to rody_44
As I stated(I'm the one hiding my *WIRELESS* MAC), I sometimes take this(or one of my other laptops)to various coffee shops here in The Bay Area with WiFi.
Since I don't change the MAC addresses, I would much rather not display those addresses anywhere more than they are possibly already seen.

Is it a concern? Probably not.
Is it hurting anything or anyone that I am hiding these wireless NIC MAC addresses? I didn't think it was...
Will I continue hiding them in future screen shots, yeah! Most likely!

There's a saying that I feel applies here - "Better safe than sorry!"

As always, YMMV.
--
Think outside the Fox... Opera


sortofageek
Runs from Clowns
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join:2001-08-19
kudos:23

2 recommendations

reply to Johkal
said by Johkal:

To my knowledge, no one ever posted saying their network was hacked because they posted their MAC publicly.
Notice above ... I am not suggesting a potential "hack" in the traditional sense. I am saying there is potential for a Comcast employee with access to the system to use the posted modem MAC to access the account of the poster. At minimum you could be revealing your identity. What might be done with that is dependent on the integrity of that employee, who may be upset with your member name here who said something that employee didn't much like.


Johkal
Cool Cat
Premium,MVM
join:2002-11-13
Happy Valley
kudos:10
said by sortofageek:

said by Johkal:

To my knowledge, no one ever posted saying their network was hacked because they posted their MAC publicly.
Notice above ... I am not suggesting a potential "hack" in the traditional sense. I am saying there is potential for a Comcast employee with access to the system to use the posted modem MAC to access the account of the poster. At minimum you could be revealing your identity. What might be done with that is dependent on the integrity of that employee, who may be upset with your member name here who said something that employee didn't much like.
I fully agree with that aspect of security.
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rody_44
Premium
join:2004-02-20
Quakertown, PA
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 edit
reply to sortofageek
i have to second that. i sure wouldnt post my modem mac. lots of security risks showing the modem mac. ayear ago the biggest concern would probably have been someone actually cloned the modem and stole service. comcast closed that hole tho by enabling them by headend.


NormanS
I gave her time to steal my mind away
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-14
San Jose, CA
kudos:12
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
·Pacific Bell - SBC

1 recommendation

reply to jjoshua
I don't think it is so much a need as a desire. A desire to not post any information which might give others a handle on the poster's identity.

Early on, before I learned a bit about "How Stuff Works", I would hide both my MAC address, and my IP address. I don't worry so much about it, now. I know that nobody can do anything to my network, even with knowledge of any of my equipment MAC addresses, or LAN IP addresses.

OTOH, if somebody wants to hide such, so what? No harm is done by hiding it. Just takes a couple of extra seconds of work to do the deed.
--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
~To Konnyu, with the Lion and the Drum