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Searching by a MAC Address over the internet to find lost, stolen and missing hardware.

Posted on 2006-07-10
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Last Modified: 2008-03-10
I'm looking to find some lost and/or stolen equipment.  I have the mac addresses of the laptops and computer hardware that have come up missing from our office.  The local law enforcement doesn't seem interested in tracking them down, and I want to give them a little help.

Is there a way to scan the internet, looking for those mac addesses?  And then start to track them down by finding out IP addresses and working backwards to the ISP?

And if so, What would I need and can this be done?

Thanks,
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Question by:rahowell2
4 Comments
 
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by:rsivanandan
rsivanandan earned 668 total points
ID: 17079067
No way, sorry.

Even if those laptops are connected to the Internet, only the adjacent router can see the mac address of the machine.

Remember the theory;

1. Source IP and Destination IP remains the same throughout the communication.

2. Mac addresses keep changing throughout the communication.

Cheers,
Rajesh
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LVL 27

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by:pseudocyber
pseudocyber earned 664 total points
ID: 17080392
agree with Rajesh.

That's how companies that develop "phone home" software make money - it's entirely client (on the computer in question) driven.
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Steve Knight earned 668 total points
ID: 17081279
Agreed.  If they are behind a home router then not even an ISP could help you as no-one would ever see the mac address, if they are connected straight to a cable modem by ethernet for instance then there is potential for the cable co. to know the mac address but that it very unikely to help at all.  If it gets used by USB ADSL modem or dialup still no chance.

Of course I'm sure they were all fully backed up, data encrypted and strong passwords on there like we all do of course....(not)

teve
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Author Comment

by:rahowell2
ID: 17085869
Well thanks Guys, just feel like I been shot in the foot again.  I thought I just might have a chance.  Thanks again.
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