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Excel 2010: identify location network was accessed

Posted on 2014-11-10
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Last Modified: 2014-11-11
My client has a building with 2 floors and 200 desks. Everyone has the exact same laptop that can dock/use the internet at any desk whenever they want. This concerns my client, but IT mentioned to my client that they can detect when/where people dock at any time and can detect people that dock/use the internet but don't belong to the building. I'm thinking if the IT departments claim is true, then there is something unique at each desk. (i.e., a special address, number, something special about the connection there etc.,) Nonetheless, I didn't notice any special device at any desk other than the dock.

To prove IT is correct, my client would like for me create an Excel file with a button. When the button is pressed, it will display something unique about the place that was docked and/or internet was used.

Anyone have any ideas on how to do this? I'm willing to explore API. Below is a little piece of code I created originally, but it does not provide any information that is unique/representative of the location I docked or internet was used.

For x = 1 to 100
debug.print environ(x)
next
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Question by:ouestque
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6 Comments
 
LVL 37

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by:Neil Russell
Neil Russell earned 1000 total points
ID: 40433634
The fact that IT can do it does not mean that YOU can do it.

It will, if the network is configured correctly, be able to log the MAC address of every computer that connects to the network and to what port on what switch they connected. From that they will know what docking station is connected to what wall/floor port and therefore what switch port. Now they can say that the computer with a mac address of BB:CC:DD:11:22:33 (For example) was connected to port 5 on switch 2 on the first floor from 09:00 to 12:00

The rest is easy,
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Neil Russell
ID: 40433679
Could you explain a little about the relationship? When you say "IT" do you mean the companies internal IT department?
You say "My Client", what is your role? What are you contracted to the company to do/provide?
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Author Comment

by:ouestque
ID: 40433746
Thanks Neilsr. Based on your answer, My understanding is that there is no VBA or API calls I can use to figure out which switch or port I'm connected too?
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LVL 23

Accepted Solution

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Danny Child earned 1000 total points
ID: 40433950
The IT guys will almost certainly be pulling the logs off the switches to see who connected.  Some docking stations contain their own network ports, (and therefore MAC addresses), and so it's unlikely to be tracking those.  However, checking for hostnames would also work.  

There's also a whole bunch of network mapping tools from people like Solarwinds or SpiceWorks that will interrogate networks in real time.  

I'm not quite sure what using Excel to find something unique out about where you're working will prove to your client.  Of course the system knows where you're working.  Otherwise it couldn't deliver mail or internet traffic to you.  And if it knows, then its administrators know.  

I think there's a bigger picture here.  Sounds like the IT Guys are saying that there's some unauthorised access going on?  Is that what actually needs solving?

to show what info is held, you should be perhaps using IPCONFIG /ALL, TRACERt, PING, NBTSTAT -A and so on... But all better at a command line than from Excel.  Or, look at the network mapping tools yourself?
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Expert Comment

by:Danny Child
ID: 40433959
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Author Closing Comment

by:ouestque
ID: 40434996
Thanks guys. It sounds like I need to learn more about how all this works. I would love to read more about it. f you have any advice on some reading that could enlighten me more on how all this works will you post it? Thanks again.
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