A sysctl Linux variable to change randomly temporary the PC mac address for IPv6 and increase anonymity on IPv6 networks

To prevent tracking and increase anonymity in IPv6 networks the Linux kernel has a variable to change randomly the MAC identifier. This feature will be very useful in terms of security in the short future, when all the IPv4 IP addresses are finished. The UIE (Extended Unified Udentifier) for an ipv6 address can be changed with command:

sysctl -w net.ipv6.conf.all.use_tempaddr=2 Microsoft Windows Vista and Windows 7 has the UIE enabled by default, enabling the random MAC changes automatically for a host cvan be done as usual by adding the net.ipv6.conf.all_use_tempaddr=2 to /etc/sysctl.conf

On an IPv6 network every ifconfig eth0 down and ifconfig eth0 up will instruct the lan card to be set a different MAC address for the ipv6 ip on the interface.

Changing the UIE randomly however also have security downsides if the host gets infected with a Virus or Worm. The security downsides of the enabled UIE affects mainly Windows hosts on IPv6 networks as UIE variable is enabled by default there.I’ve found this great tip in an article in the latest Linux Magazine October 2011. Its the first time I saw a paper Linux Magazine, the magazine contains a lot of helpful info on the latest Linux developments and latest trends in the Linux world. Subscription to receive the magazine via normal post is for the magazine costs 6.65 EUR per month (80 EUR) yearly. The 80 euro yearly includes 12 CDS (each magazine is bundled with a newly launched new version of a Linux distribution).
There is also a cheaper subscription for the magazine which costs 64.90 EUR.

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4 Responses to “A sysctl Linux variable to change randomly temporary the PC mac address for IPv6 and increase anonymity on IPv6 networks”

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    Firefox 6.0.2 Firefox 6.0.2 Windows 7 Windows 7
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; rv:6.0.2) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/6.0.2

    This is very useful information. Is there a solution like this for Windows?

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    • admin says:
      Firefox 10.0.2 Firefox 10.0.2 Ubuntu Ubuntu
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