Thursday, 28 April 2011

Location via Wi-Fi MAC Address

Google know where you live

With all the iPhone tracking claims and counter claims, (see here for details) it appears that Google have been silently collecting and building a publicly accessible Wireless router location database via their Streetview camera cars and virtually all Android devices.

And now you too can interrogate that database to find any wireless router in the world!  All you need is the MAC address of the wireless router in question.

Have a look at http://samy.pl/androidmap/

When the phone detects any wireless network, encrypted or otherwise, it sends the BSSID (MAC address) of the router along with signal strength, and most importantly, GPS coordinates up to the mothership. This page allows you to ping that database and find exactly where any wi-fi router in the world is located.

For furter reading on what a MAC address is have a look here


Finding your Wireless Router's MAC Address
Following assumes that you are wirelessly connected to the router you wish to find the MAC address of.

Windows (any current version)
Open a command prompt and enter the following command:
ipconfig
The return should look something like this:
IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : yyy.yyy.yyy.yyy
Taking the default gateway IP address, plumb it into the following command (obviously you will have numbers rather than y's):
 arp -g yyy.yyy.yyy.yyy
The return should look something like this:
  Internet Address      Physical Address
  yyy.yyy.yyy.yyy       zz-zz-zz-zz-zz-zz
Copy and paste the physical address (again you should have alphanumerics rather than just z's) into http://samy.pl/androidmap/ and hit probe.

Linux
Open a terminal session and enter the following command:
route -n
The return should look something like this:
Kernel IP routing table
Destination     Gateway         Genmask         Flags Metric Ref    Use Iface
0.0.0.0         yyy.yyy.yyy.yyy    0.0.0.0         UG    0      0        0 wlan0
Taking the default gateway IP address, plumb it into the following command (again, you will have numbers rather than y's):
 arp -vn yyy.yyy.yyy.yyy
The return should look something like this:
Address              HWtype  HWaddress
yyy.yyy.yyy.yyy      ether   zz:zz:zz:zz:zz:zz
Copy and paste the HWaddress (again you should have alphanumerics rather than just z's) into http://samy.pl/androidmap/ and hit probe.

====

Oh look Google know where you are... again.

Thanks goto @samykamkar for making android map available.

- Chris

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