Originally posted by TrueAmerican
Originally posted by SonOfTheLawOfOne
They will always find you because of this. The only way to throw them off is to start manipulating the traffic you send by altering or randomizing MAC
addresses combined with masked IP addressing.
Yeah but wait. How does VM deal with this? According to what I read, VM operates in a manner that disassociates itself from the hardware. So I wonder
if that includes the MAC address when sending packets over TCP/IP. Anyone know?
Virtual machines still bridge the hardware from the host, they still depend on the same hardware, like network cards, hard drives, etc. No matter what
you do, you still end up with a MAC address, but with VMs, it creates a MAC address that sits on top of the host hardware's address.
For example, if you use a VM, you can go open up a command prompt, and type in "getmac" to list the MAC address being used for the VM. Then, go to
the host machine and do the same thing. You'll see two addresses in the VM, one for the proxied MAC address that is "connected", along with a
second address that will match the host MAC address. If you're using a Macbook and running Windows in Parallels or VMWare, you can go to System
Preferences -> Network -> Advanced and your MAC address will be the Airport ID.
Either way, the address is created based on a unique combination / hash of the hardware on the computer, so the only way you could get around it, is
to change the hardware frequently enough that the addresses won't match. However, this is not a complete solution because of the IP address combined
with the MAC address. Your IP address, once determined, can then be located by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to see what paid phone account it
was associated to, at what time, and what the MAC address was at the time. Once they have that information, they know where you live and unless you
burned your hardware to ashes and dumped it in a river every time you connect to the internet, or have a disposable array of computers, they've got
you. Even using a network like Tor, where your traffic is proxied and relayed through anonymous servers, it still travels through routers and network
hubs that are tapped and being monitored.
Using the Tor network will make it several orders of magnitude harder for them to see what you're doing, but it takes a bit of setup and
understanding of computers and networking. If you're interested, Arstechnica has a great starting point
I hate to rain on anyone's parades, but it is going to be really hard to stop what THEY are doing without some heavy players (like Congress for
starters) to get involved and put an end to the funding for these types of programs.