How to Fix: macOS High Sierra Flaw Allows Admin Access Without Password
29 November, 2017, 01:09 | Author: Rosa Wright
A bug in the latest versions of macOS High Sierra allows users to create a root account with no password by repeatedly pressing a button in the preferences panel.
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. All you need to do is set a password for your root account (even if you never plan on using it), and no one will be able to use it to login to your Mac.
After clicking unlock several times, it should eventually open up, no passwords necessary. The bug didn't work on a Mac with older software.
It can't be stressed enough: This is a critical security flaw that all Apple laptop and desktop owners shouldn't ignore. The Apple Support Twitter account acknowledged Ergin's tweet highlighting the issue but did not provide any additional comment. If the lock is unlocked, the machine is affected by the security flaw.
The only way an attacker could exploit this bug is if the macOS owner left his Mac unlocked and then left his desk.
Some users are reporting that you can change your root password to fix the issue, but Apple has not issued official guidance yet. Then, click the "Join" button beside "Network Account Server" and a new panel will pop up. After signing in as a guest, it was possible to change security settings and install apps and software updates from the Mac App Store, just by typing the user name "root". Then from the menu bar at the top of the screen, click on the "Edit" menu and choose "Enable Root User".
You can patch this problem right now by creating a root account manually and giving it a secure password.
Currently, there is no official fix from Apple regarding the issue.
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