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Authored by: _merlin on May 18, '01 01:55:37AM

You seem to have misunderstood what I meant. I meant that a MAC address is supposed to be unique, so that even if you created a LAN containing every network card in the universe, they would all have a different MAC address, and therefore be individually distinguishable. If two had the same MAC address, the messages destined for either of them would be received by both, and messages from either of them would appear to be coming from a single card. This is why each and every network card manufactured has a MAC address hard-coded into it.

The ability of software to change MAC addresses does not change these hard-coded addresses. It merely makes a temporary change to the address the card is using. If you reset the card, it will return to its hard-coded address.

In summary, I do realise that it is possible to change the address that a card uses, it is not possible to change its hard-coded address. The way cable modems latch onto a single MAC address is not a particularly good security measure. It doesn't take into consideration the fact that a user may upgrade their network card or computer, and doesn't allow a user to share one modem between two or more computers. Changing our MAC addresses to circumvent this shortcoming doesn't solve the problem. It is merely hiding from it. Let's tell the cable modem manufacturers what we think of this scheme, and pressure them to change.

Vasantha Crabb

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