Commit 5f12407c authored by amnesia's avatar amnesia
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TODO/macchanger: merged in several brainstorming branches

parent 5f472ba3
Integrate macchanger in some way (e.g. see how Incognito does it).
Randomizing mac adresses has several cons:
* may trigger attention of admins of the network.
* may break in some network configuration were static addresses are
assigned by a DHCP server based on the interface mac address, and/or
ARP tables are fixed to avoid spoofing.
According to chapter 3.4.7 of the
[Incognito's documentation](,
Incognito does have an option in the boot menu and an initrd script,
and the randomization is done on a small part of the mac address.
It does not really solve both issues, it's still not working for
static DHCP, and if mac adresses are watched, even modifying only it's
end would probably trigger an alert (admins willing to see if mac
addresses are changing may have installed an automated way to do it,
like arpwatch).
However, as amnesia is based on debian live and using network-manager
for its network configuration, it introduces new questions: What if an
usb dongle is inserted in amnesia after it has booted? Network manager
will automatically begin to scan the network with a non-fake mac
address. Is it a problem?
Use cases
We could distinguish two main use-cases:
* using a public computer (e.g. in a library, Internet-cafe) => the mac
address should not be changed, as it may bring undesired admin
attention and/or simply forbid access to the Internet
* using a personal computer (e.g. a laptop, wherever it happens) =>
the mac address should be changed
A way to integrate this analysis UI-wise could then be to allow, in
a boot menu, to choose between the default case (that has to be decided)
and the other one, using simple words such as "I am using a public
computer" instead of speaking geek-language about mac addresses
or whatever.
As a bonus, other unrelated settings could also be automatically
changed at runtime depending on the answer to this question.
Enabling the "public computer" mode could setup the needed bits so
that every network interface has its mac address changed before
attempting to access the network.
An [ifupdown script](,
put in `/etc/network/if-pre-up.d/` can do the job, but this solution is
permanent and not easy to disable.
> Why is this not easy to disable?
Network Manager
Network Manager does actually support plugins, that could be a way to
interface it with macchanger, and have the user prompted before
configuring the network to ask if the interface have to be randomized
or not. A button could also be added to enable/disable this feature.
Attention have to be taken on the way it would be done at boot
time too.
An easy interface to propose to get the original mac address back, in
case Network Manager fails to get a working networking setup, would be
a nice bonus.
What part of the mac address should be randomized?
Still there is the discussion about randomizing the whole mac address
(macchanger -r) or only a small part (macchanger -e). What are the
pros and cons of each solution?
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