Apple Mac Software Has Login Flaw That Puts Data at Risk

A bug in macOS High Sierra Read more hereApple

Without explaining what the actual bug is (we don't want to make it any easier for potential hackers than this already is, and you can find it on Twitter pretty easily), someone can login to a Mac by typing a word in the login field, leaving the password field blank, and attempting to log in several times.

Indeed, we tested this out on a Mac running 10.13.2 High Sierra - although it should work on the current 10.13.1 build - and it works quite easily. Root is a "superuser" account with read and write privileges over the entire system, including other user accounts. There are likely many more ways that someone taking advantage of the issue could wreak havoc on a Mac desktop or laptop. The company didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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. Those running previous versions of MacOS including Sierra and Yosemite do not appear to be affected by the bug.

Until Apple releases a new version of the software or patches the flaw, users can fix the issue by assigning their own password to the root account. Lemi Orhan Ergin, the founder of Software Craftsmanship Turkey, discovered the security flaw and tweeted it out to Apple Support on Tuesday.

A bug in macOS High Sierra Read more hereReuters
A bug in macOS High Sierra Read more hereReuters

The exploit can be run in System Preferences.

Go to System Preferences then click Users & Groups (or Accounts).

Click the lock button, then enter your username and password when prompted. Click Login Options then click Join (or Edit). Users can prevent an attacker from exploiting a bug by creating a "root" account themselves and giving it a custom password. It's simple enough. Open up a Terminal (in the Spotlight search box just type "terminal") and type "sudo passwd root".

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