Apple Mistake! You can log into macOS High Sierra as root with NO password

 

A simple-to-exploit flaw in macOS High Sierra, aka macOS 10.13, allows users to gain admin rights, or log in as root, without a password.

The security bug is triggered via the authentication dialog box in Apple’s operating system, which prompts you for an administrator’s username and password when you need to do stuff like configure privacy and network settings.

If you type in “root” as the username, leave the password box blank, hit “enter” and then click on unlock a few times, the prompt disappears and, congrats, you now have admin rights. You can do this from the user login screen.

The vulnerability effectively allows someone with physical access to the machine to log in, cause extra mischief, install malware, and so on. You should not leave your vulnerable Mac unattended until you can fix the problem. And while obviously this situation is not the end of the world – it’s certainly far from a remote hole or a disk decryption technique – it’s just really, really sad to see megabucks Apple drop the ball like this.

Developer Lemi Orhan Ergan alerted the world to the flaw via Twitter in the past hour or so:

Dear @AppleSupport, we noticed a *HUGE* security issue at MacOS High Sierra. Anyone can login as “root” with empty password after clicking on login button several times. Are you aware of it @Apple?

You can access it via System Preferences>Users & Groups>Click the lock to make changes. Then use “root” with no password. And try it for several times. Result is unbelievable! pic.twitter.com/m11qrEvECs

View image on Twitter

It gets worse. You can use this programming blunder to disable FileVault…

But there is a workaround for now. If you have a root account enabled and a password for it set, the above blank password trick will not work. So, keep the account enabled and set a root password right now…

Everyone with a Mac needs to set a root password NOW.
As a user with admin access, type the following command from the Terminal.

sudo passwd -u root

Enter your password then a new password for the root user.
Anyone got a better fix?@SwiftOnSecurity @rotophonic@pwnallthethings

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