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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac OS X > airport id the same as mac address?

airport id the same as mac address?
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Dec 5, 2003, 03:22 PM
 
setting up mac filtering for wireless with a d-link router. just wanted to make sure the "airport id" listed is what i would use for my pb's mac address.
     
Mac Elite
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Dec 5, 2003, 03:50 PM
 
Yes. The airport id IS the MAC address.
     
wy4tt  (op)
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Dec 5, 2003, 05:10 PM
 
thanks pat. got it setup...no more neighbors leeching this system!
     
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Dec 5, 2003, 05:37 PM
 
Originally posted by wy4tt:
thanks pat. got it setup...no more neighbors leeching this system!
Actually, MAC filtering is more of a myth than real security. In most cases it is trivial to know the MAC addresses connected to your base station (through passive scanning) and then spoof it. In the worst case, somebody else will be able to use your connection just as if there were no MAC filtering. In the best case, they would be able to mess with your connection.

I'm not saying that your neighbors will be enterprising enough to do all this - just that it's trivial, if somebody really wants

-A
     
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Dec 5, 2003, 05:46 PM
 
Originally posted by iohead:
I'm not saying that your neighbors will be enterprising enough to do all this - just that it's trivial, if somebody really wants

-A
Do you know how to spoof the Mac address iohead, as you say being trivial ? As I am researching this for our wireless at work, but have yet to talk to anyone that has been sucessful at actually doing it on OS X.
( Last edited by SMacTech; Dec 5, 2003 at 05:54 PM. )
     
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Dec 5, 2003, 06:51 PM
 
Originally posted by SMacTech:
Do you know how to spoof the Mac address iohead, as you say being trivial ? As I am researching this for our wireless at work, but have yet to talk to anyone that has been sucessful at actually doing it on OS X.
Well, the trivial part depends on both your operating system and your wireless card. On Linux, for example, using a Lucent Wavelan card (and some others), you can simply set the MAC address to whatever you want using "ifconfig". On Mac OS X, you (I am almost sure that you can't set it using "ifconfig") would have to write a kernel extension that exposes an API to do it.

-A
     
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Dec 6, 2003, 01:25 AM
 
Originally posted by iohead:
Well, the trivial part depends on both your operating system and your wireless card. On Linux, for example, using a Lucent Wavelan card (and some others), you can simply set the MAC address to whatever you want using "ifconfig". On Mac OS X, you (I am almost sure that you can't set it using "ifconfig") would have to write a kernel extension that exposes an API to do it.

-A
NO, you cannot do this on Mac OS X, because the kernel simply won't allow you to. What happens is that you can take down the device and change the address, but it won't actually change till you restart, and when your restart, OS X changes it back to its original MAC address. In short you can do this on Windows, and Linux, but not currently on the mac unless you compile yuor own kernel.
     
wy4tt  (op)
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Dec 6, 2003, 04:00 AM
 
so basically, there's no sure way to secure a wireless network? should i enable wep encryption as well as mac filtering? i turned wep off due to the added overhead.
     
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Dec 6, 2003, 04:50 AM
 
Originally posted by wy4tt:
so basically, there's no sure way to secure a wireless network? should i enable wep encryption as well as mac filtering? i turned wep off due to the added overhead.
You should certainly enable WEP *if* you are concerned about others casually using your connection. As I said before, WEP is only a deterrent, not foolproof protection.

As for changing the MAC address on OS X, one *can* do that if one writes an appropriate kernel extesnsion (just not through "ifconfig", etc.)

-A
     
Clinically Insane
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Dec 6, 2003, 09:09 AM
 
Also, keep in mind that the AirPort ID is the MAC address of the AirPort card, not of the base station of computer.

Both the PowerBook and base station actually have more than one MAC address: one for the AirPort card and one for the Ethernet port. If your base station has two Ethernet ports, it has a MAC address for each of them.
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