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Central Reporting Malware on the Wrong Device and Not Registering Devices Correctly


I am having the a problem with 2 of my devices (iMac and MacBook Pro). I added the iMac first and a day later I added the MacBook. The MacBook doesn't show in Central, although changes I make on it (uninstalling the VPN etc) reflect in the dashboard as if i was doing the action on the iMac. It's almost like both devices are sharing the same device ID. I also installed it on a Windows 11 laptop, which registered itself just fine, as did my iPhone.

As a network engineer, im very familiar with MAC Addresses and based on another post I found having similar issues, checked both devices that seems to be sharing some form of ID and confirmed they had different unique MAC Addresses (on both Wifi and LAN interfaces) and none of the interfaces were virtual.

Seems to be a pretty big issue this does, and lots of people struggling with it. It's frustrating as on my MacBook it found an infected file (false positive) and it told me the file was actually on the iMac! I got very confused when I followed the file path, only to find the folder/directory didn't exist... no wonder, it was on a completely different computer than it was reporting it to be on!

I hope they sort this soon, as it's one of the reasons I invested in a 20 licence package, so i can add all devices for the family and manage them from a central dashboard... which it seems now I cannot until they fix it.

Are there any known workaround or fixes for this currently? It's driving me nuts.


  • Flexx
    edited June 2022

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  • Alexandru_BD

    Hello @BazzaUK and welcome to the Community!

    The issue is mostly linked to duplicate MAC addresses. Bitdefender is using the MAC address as a unique identifier, which normally would make sense as this should be unique. However, some third-party programs add the same MAC address on each device. Since this MAC address is the same, Bitdefender is considering the second device the same as the first device since it can match a MAC address and is replacing the original system with the last one powered on.

    If two or more devices have the same physical or virtual MAC address regardless of the network, Bitdefender Central identifies them as the same device and shows only one at a time in My Devices. This is common with virtualization software (e.g. VMware, VirtualBox, Parallels, Bootcamp, etc.) and some VPN apps that generate the same MAC address on all the devices, leading to a MAC address conflict.

    However, it is not restricted to this type of software. New MacBook Pro models use the same MAC address for iBridge Ethernet – the Touch Bar. Since this MAC address is the same, Bitdefender Central is considering the second device the same as the first one since it can match a MAC address and is replacing the original Mac computer with the last Mac connected to the internet.

    To find out if the same MAC address is assigned to your computers, follow these steps below:

    1. Click the Finder icon in your dock.
    2. Next, click Go at the top left of the screen, on the menu bar.
    3. Select Utilities from the menu.
    4. Double-click on Terminal to open this tool.
    5. Type ifconfig -a in the Terminal and then press the Return / Enter key.
    6. Compare the number that appears next to ether for all networks in the list, on both machines.

    This is only a glitch in the way Bitdefender Central displays them, with no impact on the security of the devices. Your Devices are still protected despite the fact that they are not accurately displayed in Bitdefender Central.

    You can also check the security for each Mac device:

    • Click the B icon in the menu bar of your Mac (near date & time), then select “Open Main Window” to bring up the Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac interface.
    • You are protected and everything is OK if the shield is green and the dashboard indicates “You are safe”

    If you’ve found out that they have one or more MAC addresses in common, you need to either remove, modify or disable the identical MAC addresses, so that both systems can show up in Central. Below are three solutions with different degrees of difficulty:

    Solution 1: Remove the app that generates duplicate MAC addresses – Difficulty level Easy

    The easiest way is to uninstall the application that generated the same MAC address in the first place. If you no longer use that VPN app, virtualization software, etc. simply uninstall it.

       How to uninstall an app on macOS

    Next, restart the system that is missing from Bitdefender Central, and you’ll be able to see it again under the ‘My Devices’ section.

    Solution 2: Disable duplicate network adapters – Difficulty level Medium

    If you wish to keep your virtual machine software or VPN, disable its corresponding network adapter instead. This way, Bitdefender Central will no longer think it’s the same computer and display only one at a time. 

    1. Bring up the Bitdefender product installed on your device.

    2. Access the Switch Account feature and log in with the same Bitdefender Central account.

    3. Next, remove the device you are currently on from your Bitdefender Central account – How to remove a device from Bitdefender Central.

    4. Now, return to the computer that does not appear in Bitdefender Central and follow the steps in the table below, depending on the operating system that runs on the device.

    Disable a Network Adapter of a Mac:

    • Click the Apple logo  in the upper-left corner of the screen, and select System Preferences in the menu.
    • Access the Network icon to open the Network Preferences pane.
    • On the left side of the Network window, select the name of the virtual adapter or VPN.
    • To disable the selected adapter, click the gear-shaped button ⚙︎ or the menu icon … next to the minus sign in the lower-left corner of the window, then select Make Service Inactive.
    • Click the Apply button to disable the duplicate MAC address.

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user

  • Alexandru_BD

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user

  • Alexandru_BD

    Finally, restart the system that is missing from Bitdefender Central. After reboot, you’ll be able to see it again under the ‘My Devices’ section.

    Solution 3: Change the duplicate MAC address – Difficulty level Hard

    A more complex solution is to modify the MAC address on one of the machines with a duplicate MAC address so that all devices connected to Bitdefender Central have unique identifiers. 

    Note: It is recommended to perform this action only if you are an advanced computer user!

    Let us know how it goes.


    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user