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Help! Unknown Devices on Wifi

AlwaysAnxious
Neighbour
Please bear with me and my rant, any help and insight are greatly appreciated... As a super un-tech-savvy person, I'm going crazy with all the scary things I'm reading online! (Hackers, spyware, viruses, etc.)

Twice now I have recieved a notification on "My Wifi" app alerting me to a new device connecting to my network.

First time it happened, I freaked out since it said "Unknown Device" and blocked + removed it before I was able to call tech support for further troubleshooting. It happened as soon as I rebooted my actiontec t3200m router.

Called tech support the next day and no help was provided.

Earlier today I recieved another notification of a new device on my network. When I clicked into it, it gives me the name "Apple Mobile Device" and under the operating system it says "iOS" with no further info. Device type is Mobile.

I cross-referenced all my connected devices and all my apple devices are named and accounted for.

I noticed that of the devices I recognize, they all give further info such as the current iOS 14.0 AZURE etc. With the device having my customized names. The new device name seems eerily generic (Apple Mobile Device) and I feel as if this information is being spoofed.

This time I truly feel I have gone too far off the deep end. Online searches are very intimidating in people suggesting virtual attacks, hackers etc.

Of note - the IP address of this "Apple Mobile Device" was the exact same as one of the iPhones I hadn't turned on for a week. However, their MAC addresses were completely different.

When I turned on the corresponding iPhone with the same IP, my IP address immediately changed...

Calling tech support was no help, they said all they could see on their end from the Mac address I provided was "unknown device". They told me they would escalate and perhaps call me back. In the meantime, I should just pause the device and leave it on my network for troubleshooting on their end.

My main fear is: am I being hacked through my pc or another infected device? I download movies etc. But use antivirus.

Please help. I really fell down the rabbit hole too far on this one and scared myself sh*tless by reading too many prospective scenarios.

Nobody has my physical wifi password. I am certain. I have changed that but not the default password for the router access (admin) as it seems safe enough.
13 REPLIES 13

xray
Guardian

Unless you reserve an IP address for a specific MAC address there is no guarantee that any device will have the same IP address each time it connects.

 

Some devices will randomize it's MAC address as a way of maintaining privacy so networks can't track it. There is usually a setting to control this feature and it's normally only useful for connecting to public WiFi. It's possible one of your known devices is doing this.

 

The name and device type detected by the router isn't 100% accurate and depends on how forthcoming the device is at report it's identity. I have several smart devices that show up as the manufacturing company of the WiFi chip and has nothing to do with the brand or model of the device.

 

The only 100% way of finding out whether the mystery device is yours or not is to change your WiFi password and see what doesn't work after you update all the known devices.

I also paused this mystery device yet all of my apple devices are still able to connect online. Scary.

kamak
Ambassador

Newer device now have "Randomized" MAC addressing. And Apple is one of them. So you can turn that off, I believe. That way you can lockdown your device/iPhone to one IP address. otherwise it'll float around even with one static MAC address.

 

I get "unknown device" all the time with known devices, MAC isn't always reliable nor the named Meta data of said device. I've never played with Apples WiFi settings that have Randomization, so you will have to find it, if it exists. I have only turned it off on newer Window based laptops and PCs.

It's actually got a name : "Apple Mobile device" but the info just seems very sketchy and doesn't correspond with any of my devices, since they're all on the network and I can actively click into them.

Can a hacker actually get into my network like this without being in range?

AlwaysAnxious
Neighbour
So I have two iPhones and both display their full device name and model always.

The scary part is that only one iPhone was on at the time this new device was connected...

My wifi app shows this mystery Apple Mobile device was connecting actively every few minutes.

So when I fired up my second iPhone, there was a total of 3 apple phones on my network.

Should I be concerned? I feel so useless for not knowing anything

Since you only have a few devices to update just change your WiFi password and be done with it so you can stop worrying.

Will do, x-ray. But regarding my original query - are hackers even able to access my wifi network like this and spoof info? Do they have to be within physical range and have my password?

After doing what XRAY suggests, you can rest assure that the only devices on your network will be yours. I assume you have a unique/secured PW for your Telus router? If you still see more devices connected than what you know are actually connect, you can rest assure that that is "historical" info retained by your router. Routers have "lease periods" for devices that are/were connect. being that your Apple devices have randomization MAC, just adds to the confusion. 

The password to my wifi is unique and personalized, yes.

The password to get into the router (admin) @ 192.168.1. etc is still the original one posted on the sticker at the back. It's a bunch of random digits and letters so I figured it was safe enough, correct?

It most likely is safe. The thing is, in order for someone to be on your "WiFi" they'd have to be within close proximity of your router, other than neighbors, who could that be? And even that would be such a bad connection it would be not worth it. I personally change the router's default management PW, just as a good house keeping practice. 

Thank you so much for putting my mind to a bit of ease here.

Sounds like maybe its just a glitch or something...

I just have so many devices it's nuts.

As mentioned this is likely related to Apple turning on private Wi-Fi addresses in IOS 14 (and higher). More info here:

 

Use private Wi-Fi addresses on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple Watch - Apple Support

swatt
Neighbour

I had an unknown device connected to my brand new wifi hub. I restart my wifi hub and it's gone.

1. Unplug the power cord from the back of the modem.

2. Wait 30 seconds.

3. Plug the power cord back into the back of the modem.