If an intruder gained access to a network impersonating the MAC address and the device name to appear like a familiar device in the network, how then is it possible to detect the device in the router logs?

Can the router see the card manufacturer or other information that can't be changed? I know completely spoofing a device identity is impossible, correct me if I am wrong.

  • in my experience, if he duplicated your IP and MAC neither could access the network. So if there are 2 IP with the same MAC, that might work.
    – cybernard
    Feb 3, 2018 at 15:50
  • You can't gain access to a network by spoofing MAC and name. He would need to crack your password to get access. If this is the case, change password to some 12 letter random string.
    – Aria
    Feb 3, 2018 at 16:34
  • I didn't say this happened realy, i said in the case someone hacked the network and tried to appear like a normal user by using someone else identity (mac and device name) while the user is absent, how then is it possible to spot the intrusion in the router log later, i can't detect him by only relying on mac, device name and the date he connected. I hope you understand now.
    – P. Kod
    Feb 3, 2018 at 18:47

2 Answers 2


MAC addresses, IP addresses, and DHCP hostnames are not security controls. All of those can be forged. I can also make my TCP/IP stack look like any operating system available -- the exact same signatures that tools like nmap and p0f use can be used to configure my network stack.

A strong WPA2 passphrase is the only effective wireless network security control most consumer routers offer. (And since you are using the term "router" for a device that your client connects to, I assume you mean a consumer wireless router.)

There is generally nothing logged on a consumer router that would allow you to detect a malicious device masquerading as a legitimate device.


You can try to identify operating system using packet fingerprinting.

For example, if your normal host is Windows, and attacker is using Linux, you can detect OS change. The only condition is that the remote host sends at least one packet during fingerprinting process.

You can perform such fingerprinting with nmap, for example:

nmap -O ipaddr

  • I didn't know about this technique but i think it should be used when the user is connected to the network but if the hacker is not using the network then running this command will not give us informations about his operating system. Will the router save this kind of data ?
    – P. Kod
    Feb 3, 2018 at 22:37
  • Router will not save this kind of data. Routers usually save MAC address when giving DHCP addresses.
    – Aria
    Feb 3, 2018 at 23:26
  • If the router doesn't save data like "card manufacturer" and "operating system" but can see it, can it recognize that the intruder is spoofing another identity and log him as a new device that has the same mac and the same device name ? If not i can say that the wireless LAN security isn't good enough.
    – P. Kod
    Feb 4, 2018 at 0:03

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