Apple have issued a fix for yesterday’s severe security alert, after it emerged the tech giant’s High Sierra operating system would allow access to many users’ MacOS Root User without entering a password.
The story caused alarm around the world, as Mac users discovered full administrator control of their device was available to anyone within reach of the keyboard.
Discovered by a Turkish developer who tweeted it to Apple Support, Lemi Ergin, the widely publicised fault is believed to affect all Apple MacOS devices (such as the iMac and MacBook ranges) running version 10.13.1 or newer.
Mr Ergin has since published an article on Medium defending his decision to flag the vulnerability publicly, arguing that despite the security flaw being public knowledge on the Apple Developer Forum since 13th November, Apple had failed for resolve the issue.
Yesterday Lineal published guidance to all our Mac clients, advising caution over the physical security of Apple hardware, and explaining the need for users to set a new root password to temporarily secure their Mac while Apple worked on a security fix.
Security update 2017-001 is now available via the App Store, and Apple have even taken the almost unprecedented step of forcing 10.13.1 devices to update automatically.
The failure to set a random default MacOS root password (a fundamental technical security feature) once again calls into question the recent competence of Apple’s historically excellent quality control and product testing, and may slow the adoption of the firm’s latest flagship operating system. The widespread media publicity surrounding the story is also likely to undermine Apple’s long-held reputation for security on Mac devices.
Apple issued an apology, stating ‘We greatly regret this error and apologise to all Mac users.”
For Apple assistance and support, contact Lineal’s IT team today.