Horrifying macOS Bug Lets Anyone Become Admin With No Password
29 November, 2017, 01:05 | Author: Yolanda Murray
Publicly posted to Twitter by Turkish software developer Lemi Orhan Ergin, the risky vulnerability lets anyone using a Mac running macOS 10.13 High Sierra get authenticated into a "System Administrator" account, giving them access to all sorts of private files.
The issue, discovered in the MacOS High Sierra operating system for laptops and desktops that was released in September, allows people to enter the word "root" when prompted for a username, and provide no password when logging on to the device. Apple is aware of the bug and working on a patch. If you have a root account enabled and a password for it set, the above blank password trick will not work. A spokesperson for Apple was not immediately available for comment.
Once someone has root access, there's basically no limitations to what they can do.
A user reported the issue earlier today, but initially it wasn't specified which version of Mac OS High Sierra was affected, what machines, or anything other than what the problem was.
A critical security flaw in Apple's latest version of macOS grants intruders access to your computer's settings and data without needing a password. It can also be used at the login screen of a locked Mac to unlock the machine and gain full administrative access.
For now, you can test your Mac by going to System Preferences, choosing Users & Groups then click the lock to make changes.
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Published to Twitter on Tuesday by software engineer Lemi Orhan Ergin, the vulnerability is alarmingly straightforward.
Once in the "Join" menu, click on "Open Directory Utility".
Click the lock button, then enter your username and password when prompted. The flaw allows someone to create a kind of phantom profile, one that can log into the Mac with admin access, but it won't show up on an real admin accounts.
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