How to recognise a Docker container by its MAC address? | FAQ | MAC Address Vendor Lookup
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How to recognise a Docker container by its MAC address?

Summary

# Range or Prefix Vendor Virtual Machine
1 02:42 Docker Docker container

Detection Rule 1

Affects products: Docker container

Signature: The first two octets are = '02:42'

Conditions

According to the v1.7 documentation, all the Docker containers have the same prefix in their MAC addresses – '02:42:' if generated automatically. The remaining 4 octets of the MAC address is a container's IPv4 address printed in hex. For example, '02:42:ac:11:00:02' is for the '172.17.0.0/16' subnetwork.

Information about this rule has been removed from the recent version documentation, but it remains valid.

Docker containers have the same prefix in their MAC addresses – 02:42

Here's the source code of the MAC address generator used in Docker v18.09:

func genMAC(ip net.IP) net.HardwareAddr {
    hw := make(net.HardwareAddr, 6)
    // The first byte of the MAC address has to comply with these rules:
    // 1. Unicast: Set the least-significant bit to 0.
    // 2. Address is locally administered: Set the second-least-significant bit (U/L) to 1.
    hw[0] = 0x02
    // The first 24 bits of the MAC represent the Organizationally Unique Identifier (OUI).
    // Since this address is locally administered, we can do whatever we want as long as
    // it doesn't conflict with other addresses.
    hw[1] = 0x42
    // Fill the remaining 4 bytes based on the input
    if ip == nil {
        rand.Read(hw[2:])
    } else {
        copy(hw[2:], ip.To4())
    }
    return hw
}

Still, the administrator can specify any custom MAC address for the container by using the '--mac-address=MACADDRESS' option. Docker does not check if manually specified MAC addresses are unique.

Administrator can specify any custom MAC address for the container

References

Example MACs generated

  • 02:42:AC:11:00:02

Tested on

  • Docker v18.06.1-ce

Virtual Machine’s MAC ranges

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