The Media Access Control address, or, MAC address, is a unique hardware identification number assigned to network interfaces. Common interfaces assigned MAC addresses include Ethernet cards, Wi-Fi cards, Bluetooth devices, and other wireless devices and accessories which require access to a data network.
Although originally intended to serve as a permanent and unique identifier for the purposes of identification and security authorization, it is possible to change the MAC address of most devices, which in turn opens the door to MAC-based spoofing. In such situations, a malicious user alters the MAC address of their network device, say a Wi-Fi card, to bypass MAC-based filters on the network.
- By Jason Fitzpatrick on 04/26/13