MAC or Media Access Controller is a unique way to identify any device on a network which helps the communication amongst physical network segment. MAC can also be termed as unique identifier for network devices. MAC address is mostly assigned by the manufacturers on LAN card which is stored in the hardware. It is generally stored in the card’s internal memory or in firmware coding in the NIC. MAC address usually holds manufacturer’s registered identification number if it is assigned by manufacturers and it is also referred as physical address, hardware address, adapter address or EHA (Ethernet hardware address).
In popularly know TCP/IP network, MAC address works as a unique identifier for each node so that the information can be sent exactly to the desired computer instead of broadcasting information over the internet.
MAC address is intended to be permanent and constant but it is possible to change MAC address for most of today’s hardware devices and this is known as MAC spoofing. You should not be confused between MAC spoofing and IP Spoofing, these two are different logic. In IP Spoofing, sender spoof the ip address and direct receiver to send information to some other location of computer, but in MAC spoofing, the spoofing party receives the response or request. MAC spoofing also depends a lot on the local broadcast domain. Nowadays, almost all the operating system provides functionality of MAC spoofing which may be required for various reasons like better security. Linux distributors also understand the importance of this feature and built the operating system with such functionality.
In following section, we are going to discuss the tips to change MAC address on Linux machine:
Type the command “sudo ifconfig eth0” in the command console and then press Enter from the keyboard so that the command is executed. This command will show you the complete hardware information of Ethernet controller.
After the above step, use the command “sudo ifconfig eth0 down,t” in the terminal and press Enter again. This command is used to close the Ethernet controller so that the configuration and changes can be made.
At this step, you will need to use the command “sudo ifconfig eth0 hw ether AA:MA:CA:DD:RE:SS” which is used to change the MAC address of your NIC. You must be very careful while replacing the letters into an appropriate MAC address. This change will be done into the terminal itself.
Now type the command “sudo ifconfig eth0 up” and press enter in the terminal console so that the Ethernet controller on turned on. Restart your computer once and the changes are done.
Using the above method, it is possible to change the MAC address on Linux machine and you don’t even require any expert knowledge t follow these commands.