Monitoring MAC address movement

MAC address movement notification allows you to monitor the movement of MAC addresses that migrate from port to port. It enables you to distinguish between legitimate movement and malicious movement by allowing you to define malicious use as a threshold number of times a MAC address moves within a specific interval.

Malicious use typically involves many MAC address moves, while legitimate use usually involves a single move. Malicious movement is often the result of MAC address spoofing, in which a malicious user masquerades as a legitimate user by changing his own MAC address to that of a legitimate user. As a result, the MAC address moves back and forth between the ports where the legitimate and malicious users are connected. A legitimate use might be to spoof the MAC address of a failed device in order to continue access using a different device.

You can monitor MAC address movements in the following ways:

  • Threshold-rate notifications allow you to configure the maximum number of movements over a specified interval for each MAC address before a notification is sent. For example you could define the malicious move rate as three moves every 30 seconds.
  • Interval-history notifications are best suited for a statistical analysis of the number of MAC address movements for a configured time interval. For example, you may want to find out how many MAC addresses have moved in the system over a given interval or how many times a specific MAC address has moved during that interval. However, it is not possible to get this information for every MAC address if there are a lot of MAC addresses that moved during the interval. Consequently, the number of MAC addresses that can have a recorded history is limited.
MAC address move notification does not detect MAC movements across an MCT cluster between MCT peers. It only detects MAC movements locally within a cluster MCT peer.