Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Computers & InternetComputer Networking · 6 months ago

Can law enforcement identify a laptop that connected to a public WiFi connection?

If someone connects to a public WiFi connection through any electronic device that can access the internet, can law enforcement identify that device other than just getting the MAC Address?

Update:

Can they get the serial number/hardware ID, and track the physical laptop itself?

4 Answers

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  • 6 months ago

    well mac address can be tied to the serial number by the manufacturer. and then its easy enough to trace it back to where it was bought and by who.

  • 6 months ago

    Since Google, Amazon and any other advetising site can do it via fingerprinting (look it up), why shouldn't law enforcement be able to if they wanted?

    Sure, that has nothing to do with MAC addresses or any other serial number on the device, but if you ever been to a website once (even if you don't kno it since it was an ad that was loaded while visiting another website through a third party), they are able to recognize that machine, browser and user account again.

  • 6 months ago

    Most routers don't even keep a log of what devices have connected to them. Since this router is out of the ordinary, it's theoretically possible to "fingerprint" a system in a way that could identify it in the future, if the appropriate software were running on the router.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Device_fingerprint#A...

    EDIT: Normally, serial numbers aren't directly detectable through either active or passive means.. Theoretically (again), if your laptop has Intel AMT running on it, detailed information about the hardware would be available for remote querying.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Active_Managem...

    They would not be able to physically track the laptop without installing software on your computer, and would not be able to geographically locate your system unless it had a GPS device installed in it (they could get a good idea based on the names of the wireless access points nearby, but not enough on its own to knock on your door).

  • Anonymous
    6 months ago

    Yes.

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