MAC Address Scrambling in Linux

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MAC Address Scrambling“- By name itself we can understand, instead of using burned-in address, the machines uses random MAC address every time. The machine/device changes MAC address regularly to improve security.  MAC address is 48 bit hexadecimal digit which is burned in every electronic device has capability of “connectivity” such as mobile devices, smart TV, PC, etc. “Apple” added this feature to iPhones from iOS8 to protect user’s privacy.

So, how static MAC address causes some security issues?  First thing caught in my mind is this

According to Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency has a system that tracks the movements of everyone in a city by monitoring the MAC addresses of their electronic devices. As a result of users being trackable by their devices’ MAC addresses, Apple has started using random MAC addresses in their iOS line of devices while scanning for networks.If random MAC addresses are not used, researchers have confirmed that it is possible to link a real identity to a particular wireless MAC address.


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Automated Wifi De-authentication attack

A Wi-Fi deauthentication attack is a type of denial-of-service attack that targets communication between a user and a Wi-Fi wireless access point.


As you can see, this type of attack is pretty powerful and difficult  to detect who is attacking. There are some tools for this attack like “aircrack-ng”(You can check the commands here).

So, basically the concept is the attacker broadcasts a wifi management “De-authentication” frame to victim’s to tell deauthenticate. It is like, “Hey client! can you please deauthenticate and authenticate”.  Then the client will reconnect to AP(Access Point). These type of frames are supposed to send by valid “AP” to its clients, but the attacker can mimic these frames and broadcasts in the network.

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