The good news is that it's simple to patch this hole right now, without waiting for a software update from Apple.
Ben Johnson, the chief technology officer of Obsidian Security and a former U.S. National Security Agency computer scientist, described the flaw to IBT as "a hacker's dream".
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.
Here's everything you need to know about the bug, including who is affected by it and whether there is a fix yet. You can see how to exploit works in the video below.
Choose Edit Change Root Password and enter a new, non-trivial password.
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Disabling the root account in the open directory utility tool does not work, as the root account becomes re-enabled when entered into the user name field on login. Send us a DM that includes your Mac model along with your macOS version. That means that anyone with 30 seconds and physical access to your machine can install programs, read and write files and system files, and do basically anything else you can imagine.
The issue was made public by software developer Lemi Orhan Ergin, who demonstrated the flaw and reported it to Apple's tech support account.
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In the dialog that pops up, click on open directory utility, and from the tool's menubar, select the edit item, and then change root password. It can also be used at the login screen of a locked Mac to unlock the machine and gain full administrative access. 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. One Twitter user confirmed that the vulnerability works over a piece of software called VNC, or even through Apple's own Remote Desktop software.
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