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Ability to Search Internet for MAC Address of Stolen Laptop

Posted on 2004-10-06
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
My corporate laptop was stolen a few months ago.  Recently, someone suggested it might be possible to search the internet to look for the stolen MAC address.  

Is this possible?  If so, what is necessary to do this?
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Question by:jseverson
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Expert Comment

by:icemanwol
ID: 12241782
Due to the nature of MAC addresses, i do not belive this would be possible unless you knew what ISP the user is using or the users IP address.  If you did know the ISP or the IP address of the user with the stolen laptop, you could place a call to that persons ISP asking about a certin MAC address and when it was logged on and explaining the situation to them.  There is no general "MAC address" search on the web where mac addresses just collect so you are out of luck.  If any other expert has something to add, please add it
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luv2smile earned 2000 total points
ID: 12241852
In short, the answer is no.

Most stolen computers end up being sold on the black market. There is no "list" of the location of stolen computers listed by mac address. There's also no way to search to see if that mac address is using the internet.

 What you could do is report your the MAC address of your stolen laptop to the manufacturer and if anyone ever tries to send the laptop back to the manufacturer for a repair then they would have a record that it had been reported stolen. But honestly the chances of recovering a stolen laptop are very slim.
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Expert Comment

by:luv2smile
ID: 12241877
Like icemanwol said, if you knew the specific network the computer was being used on: ie: a particular isp or corporate network, then the administrator of that network could trace the computer by mac address. But without knowing anything, sorry, you're pretty much out of luck.
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Author Comment

by:jseverson
ID: 12245072
Thanks

The person I spoke to was thinking of the software that scans the internet looking for networks that are not protected.  The theory was that the scanning software might be able to scan for a MAC address on certain networks.
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