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My home network consists of a router (with wired and wireless connections), and a separate access point used to repeat the router wireless signal. A device is further wired to the access point; it does not have a wireless interface.

Is it possible for the device to determine the MAC address/SSID of the access point, of the router, or of any other wireless network in range?

My concern, and the thing that I want to avoid, is that the device could determine the MAC addresses of wireless networks either attached to my network or in range, thereby using Google Location Services to determine my physical location.

  • If someone is close enough to sniff for your mac address, then they already know your physical location, or at least the general area or direction. – j_thiel Jul 11 '14 at 18:46
  • @j_thiel: this is true but off topic, as my question was about whether the wired device was able to sniff the wireless mac address in the first place – user37047 Jul 15 '14 at 6:38
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If the device is "evil" then it may contain a WiFi receptor and observe the message in the radio vicinity. It will then obtain all MAC addresses and SSID that it may wish for.

If the device is not evil to that point, but is only a casual, amateur evil, then it may still see the MAC addresses of devices that do WiFi with the "repeater". If the repeater behaves like most other repeaters, then it is a router (at the IP level) and the evil device will see frames (hence MAC addresses) only for the clients who connect to the repeater, not to clients who connect to the main access point. Moreover, WiFi-related features (e.g. SSID) will not be shown to the evil device, since it is wired. It is possible that the MAC address of the repeater itself, on the wire, will be identical to the MAC address used by the same repeater on the WiFi layer (some devices use per-interface MAC addresses, other use per-device MAC addresses).

Since all of this relies on some assumptions about the repeater, I suggest that you try it: instead of the evil device, plug a laptop computer and run a network monitor tool (e.g. Wireshark) to see exactly what frames show up on the wire.

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    I'm not a 100% sure (and Google's pages are quite vague around that), would Google store any other MAC addresses aside from the WLAN interface of AP's? But then again, Google's been found to store more information than they should have. – ndrix Jan 19 '14 at 14:50
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You could use airmon-ng since it is wireless if you have a computer with a wireless interface or if you're using Windows just "windows" key + "R" key -> cmd.exe -> ipconfig -> default gateway:"" -> open browser -> right click in address bar and select paste -> press enter -> newer routers will have a graphical map of devices connected to the network.Yes there should be table stored in the access point and/or the router. Why don't you just look at the device physically and there should be the mac address printed on the outer case.

  • My question is not whether I can determine those MAC addresses: it is whether THAT DEVICE can determine those MAC addresses, which I want to avoid. Sorry if I wasn't clear before, I've added a clarification in my question above. – user37047 Jan 13 '14 at 6:44
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Connect to the wireless network, bring up a command prompt and type arp -a and it should show you the mac address of the wireless AP.

  • This doesn't really answer the question. – Mark Oct 17 '14 at 21:45

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