Towards a Unique, Secure, and Robust Wireless Local Area Network Device Identifier
Chebor, John C.
Karume, Simeon M.
Masese, Nelson B.
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With today’s technological evolution, wireless networks have become very common for organizations, homes and public places. For any device to be authenticated and authorized to use any of the wireless network services, it must first be identified then authenticated and authorized to have access to the wireless network resources. One of the biggest challenges with implementing wireless networks, though, is implementing the identification of the wireless devices. This study therefore examined uniqueness, security and robustness characteristics of MAC in relation to a device serial number in order to establish a suitable network device identifier. In order to achieve this, test runs through a proof of concept method by using Advanced IP Scanner and getmac command line tools. Advanced IP Scanner was used to determine the security, hence robustness of the identifiers while getmac was used to determine the uniqueness of the identifiers. The run tests indicated that a MAC address can actually be spoofed and altered rendering the MAC address not unique, insecure and unreliable. On the contrary, a computer’s serial number is hard-coded in the hardware only and therefore cannot be spoofed and altered making it unique, secure and reliable. The researcher recommends that a study be conducted on how a device serial number can be used as network device identifier.