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MacOS High Sierra bug allows full admin access without a password
29 November 2017, 01:09 | Ruben Fields
macOS High Sierra security vulnerability discovered, here's how to set root password for fix
However, The Verge has been able to confirm the major security issue remains present as of MacOS 10.13.1, the current release of High Sierra. That is the full Unix root account, which has superuser privileges that enable it to see and modify any file in any account.
Many people have confirmed Ergin's discovery, and if you're running High Sierra, you can check it yourself. "Never mind one from a security and privacy-conscious company such as Apple", Steve Troughton-Smith, a Mac software developer, wrote on Twitter.
That's not all. If your Mac displays the name and password fields on the login window, instead of a list of users, you can also log into the entire Mac as root, without a password. The previous version of the operating system didn't appear to be affected by the bug.
"We are working on a software update to address this issue", explained Apple when reached for comment.
To do so, open the System Preferences and click on the "Users & Groups" option.
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Let's make this clear: this is a huge mistake on Apple's part, even if there's a relatively simple fix.
Go to System Preferences then click Users & Groups (or Accounts). But The Vergeoffered a solution: Create a new system administrator password. However, there is a workaround that will provide users with some additional security to prevent against unauthorized logins: users can enable a root account that requires a password to gain access.
Click the lock button, then enter your username and password when prompted.
Enter "root" again with no password. Click Login Options then click Join (or Edit).
You can patch this problem right now by creating a root account manually and giving it a secure password. In another lapse, Directory Utility lets you set the root password to blank - just leave both fields empty and click OK.
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