First, what is a MAC address and why might you want to alter, clone, or spoof it? MAC stands for Media Access Control and it’s a (theoretically) unique 12 hexadecimal digit identifier for a specific piece of network hardware. An example could look like 01-23-45-67-89-AB (remember hexadecimal digits range from 0 to F).
Now why might you want to spoof, clone or alter it? Some examples may include avoiding having to register a new router’s MAC address to an internet service provider, or to obfuscate a network monitor’s ability to tie traffic to a particular piece of hardware, or to circumvent a MAC address blacklist filter preventing a device from connecting.
Here’s how to do it at the router level using DD-WRT, one common free third party router firmware (vendor specific firmware may or may not offer similar functionality):
- Enter your router’s IP address in your browser of choice and when prompted, enter your login credentials.
Note: My router’s IP address is set to 192.168.11.1, yours may be different.
- Under the “Setup” tab, choose “MAC Address Clone”
- Click “Enable” and you will be presented with two fields showing the current WAN and Wireless MAC addresses of the router.
Note: The “Get Current PC MAC Address” button will input the MAC address of the device you are using to access the router. We won’t be using that.
- For our purposes, I’m only interested in altering the public facing WAN MAC address, so I have altered the last two digits from “B1” to “42” thus making a new address.
- Click “Save” and “Apply Settings”
- Check the “Status” page and “Router” tab to verify that the change has taken effect.
Congratulations, you’re done! Venture forth and use your newfound powers for good, not evil!