If you own a Mac computer as well as also run the latest edition of Apple’s operating system, macOS High Sierra, then you need to be extra careful with your computer.
A serious, yet stupid vulnerability has been discovered in macOS High Sierra in which allows untrusted users to quickly gain unfettered administrative (or root) control on your Mac without any password or security check, potentially leaving your data at risk.
Discovered by developer Lemi Orhan Ergin on Tuesday, the vulnerability only requires anyone with physical access to the target macOS machine to enter “root” into the username field, leave the password blank, as well as also hit the Enter a few times—as well as also Voila!
In simple words, the flaw allows an unauthorized user in which gets physical access on a target computer to immediately gain the highest level of access to the computer, known as “root,” without actually typing any password.
Needless to say, This kind of blindingly easy Mac exploit genuinely scary stuff.
This kind of vulnerability can be similar to one Apple patched last month, which affected encrypted volumes using APFS wherein the password hint section was showing the actual password of the user inside the plain text.
Here’s How to Login as Root User Without a Password
If you own a Mac as well as also want to try This kind of exploit, follow these steps by admin or guest account:
- Open System Preferences on the machine.
- Select Users & Groups.
- Click the lock icon to make modifications.
- Enter “root” inside the username field of a login window.
- Move the cursor into the Password field as well as also hit enter button there few times, leaving This kind of blank.
With in which (after a few tries in some cases) macOS High Sierra logs the unauthorized user in with root privileges, allowing the user to access your Mac as a “superuser” with permission to read as well as also write to system files, including those in various other macOS accounts as well.
This kind of flaw can be exploited in several ways, depending on the setup of the targeted Mac. With full-disk encryption disabled, a rogue user can turn on a Mac in which’s entirely powered down as well as also log in as root by doing the same trick.
At Mac’s login screen, an untrusted user can also use the root trick to gain access to a Mac in which has FileVault turned on to make unauthorized modifications to the Mac System Preferences, like disabling FileVault.
All the untrusted user needs to do can be click “various other” at the login screen, as well as also then enter “root” again with no password.
However, This kind of can be impossible to exploit This kind of vulnerability when a Mac machine can be turned on, as well as also the screen can be protected using a password.
Ergin publicly contacted Apple Support to ask about the issue he discovered. Apple can be reportedly working on a fix.
“We are working on a software update to address This kind of issue. inside the meantime, setting a root password prevents unauthorized access to your Mac. To enable the Root User as well as also set a password, please follow the instructions here: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204012. If a Root User can be already enabled, to ensure a blank password can be not set, please follow the instructions by the ‘Change the root password’ section.”
Here’s How to Temporarily Fix the macOS High Sierra Bug
Fortunately, the developer suggested a temporary fix because of This kind of issue which can be as easy as its exploit.
To fix the vulnerability, you need to enable the root user using a password. Heres how to do in which:
- Open System Preferences as well as also Select Users & Groups
- Click on the lock icon as well as also Enter your administrator name as well as also password there
- Click on “Login Options” as well as also select “Join” at the bottom of the screen
- Select “Open Directory Utility”
- Click on the lock icon to make modifications as well as also type your username as well as also password there
- Click “Edit” at the top of the menu bar
- Select “Enable Root User” as well as also set a password for the root user account
This kind of password will prevent the account by being accessed using a blank password.
Just to be on the safer side, you can also disable Guest accounts on your Mac. because of This kind of, head on to System Preferences → Users & Groups, select Guest User after entering your admin password, as well as also disable “Allow guests to log in to This kind of computer.”