If I clone a VM with VirtualBox and change the MAC address, can some software/web tracking tools detect that it is the same VM?

Basically, does cloning a VM with a new mac creates a new identity?


One thing that could be done is to fingerprinting the Machine and be very ,but not absolute, sure that the device is the same. From Fingerprinting the Browser to open Services and it's Version its very broadly how they could fingerprinting it. MAC Addresses are only one thing that goes into that account and if you are prepared that this could be changed (as software or software user) you could conclude that nothing changes beside that, it could be the same machine or a cloned machine


It depends on what is considered for identifying a machine. Web tracking tools targetting individuals often use the IP address: if it is same IP, it could be same machine or same user. The most used tool is the cookie. When you clone the VM, you copy every cookie. Over technics involves other browser headers and javascript; here again the clone will get same exact values as the original VM.

When it comes to local applications that stores some information locally, as the clone has duplicated original information, the application will assume that it is on the original machine.

TL/DR There is no definitive answer to that question: it depends on how the tracking software defines an identity.

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