Fake iOS8 Wifi MAC addresses to improve privacy
Update any system on our mobile can be tedious for many users and if you have to do necessarily being connected to the wireless network because the content is very heavy, in most cases we resist to upgrade, but for the iPhone users there is an extra motivation in the latest update.
Apple has taken a step in privacy, with new features iOS8 system , and among other improvements it offers, this hide the MAC address of the wireless interface by sending WiFi packets with fake mac address.
When we left the wifi interface of our mobile switched on when not connected to a wifi network, this keeps throwing packets in broadcast mode in order to find new networks and try to connect if it is possible. This means that there may be businesses that are close from us, trying to monitoring new MAC addresses , store them and analyze in depth, to try to understand the behavior of users , whether new or recurrent, and maximize all information to deliver services more custom.
Apple has implemented a security layer iOS8 more within the system, to end such practices based on wifi scanners. The solution found Apple is simple, whenever launches Probe Request , the wifi MAC sends is increasingly different, internally generated . Thus whoever is monitoring the environment never know the original MAC and it will be impossible to identify the user.
In Acrylic Wi-Fi we performed a test with Acrylic Wi-Fi Analyzer (iPhone does not have to be connected to any network) :
- We started Acrylic Wi-Fi Analyzer
- Activate promiscuous mode (capture in monitor mode using a wifi sniffer) to capture all traffic that is generated around .
- Start capture, waite a moment and see devices requesting networks:
If we look closely, for the Apple device , there are 3 different wireless MACs with the same RSSI an interval of 2 minutes. To whom this monitoring network will think he is trying 3 different devices.
This is just one of the updates that Apple is preparing to try to ensure user privacy. Sure more will come soon.