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Security Apple

Aussie Researcher Cracks OS X Lion Passwords 165

daria42 writes "Thought your Mac was secure running Apple's latest operating system? Think again. Turns out that in some respects Lion is actually less secure than previous version of Mac OS X, due to some permission-tweaking by Apple that has opened up a way for an attacker to crack your password on your Lion box. The flaw was discovered by an Australian researcher who has previously published a guide to cracking Mac OS X passwords. Sounds like Apple had better get a patch out for this."
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Aussie Researcher Cracks OS X Lion Passwords

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  • by CaptainJeff ( 731782 ) on Monday September 26, 2011 @09:00AM (#37514430)
    Most common approach to password cracking = brute force, targeting the specific hash (with the specific salt) of the account you're trying to crack. Step one of such an attack = determining the hash and salt that you're targeting. Which is what he figured out. If he's now bruteforcing those hashes, then he absolutely is cracking the passwords (well, he's trying to anyway).

    But your basic point is right...he's figured out a way to capture hash/salt data, which he still should not be able to do. Since Lion uses SHA-256 hashes for its shadow file, that cracking attempt is still going to be quite difficult.

    The more important part of this article is that under some circumstances, you can change the password of the logged in user without entering the current password. Now, *that* is a big deal (the degree of which is subject to valid debate).
  • Re:Extremely Serious (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 26, 2011 @09:36AM (#37514726)

    Password reset doesn't work for my OS X installation. . .

    $ dscl localhost -passwd /Search/Users/
    New Password:
    Permission denied. Please enter user's old password:
    passwd: DS error: eDSAuthFailed
      DS Error: -14090 (eDSAuthFailed)
    $ sw_vers
    ProductName: Mac OS X
    ProductVersion: 10.7.1
    BuildVersion: 11B26

  • by Bloody Peasant ( 12708 ) on Monday September 26, 2011 @10:19AM (#37515216) Homepage
    Agreed; and what most here have totally missed is the fact that there is no "existing password" challenge if you use dscl localhost... as TFA [] says right at the end, almost as an afterthought.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 26, 2011 @10:30AM (#37515354)

    Either it's already been patched, as I'm running the developer builds of 10.7.2, or there's an issue in his particular setup vs. a normal install that's allowing this to happen.

    Stepping through the information on his own blog at: []

    When performing his "dscl localhost -read /Search/Users/" I do NOT get the dsAttrTypeNative:ShadowHashData result UNLESS I have root privileges through sudo. Not even for my own user.

  • by Uberbah ( 647458 ) on Monday September 26, 2011 @12:30PM (#37516788)

    Its interesting how when OSX has....

    What's interesting is how every time Apple screws something up or does something unpopular, some clever guy pops in to post the requisite "now if this were Microsoft, you'd all be up in arms" post. Nevermind the same comment has been posted eleventy billion times before on this blog for more than 10 years.

    Case in point: the iCon 'book banning' story [] from 6 1/2 years ago, where publishing house Wiley had their books pulled after they wrote what Jobs obviously viewed as an unflattering biography:

    Balanced.. (Score:5, Insightful) []
    by Flaming Death (447117)

    If this were a MS story of Bill Gates doing the same, there would be the usual crazy outbreak of 'MS evil empire' type banter. However, because its Apple , the response is a mild - 'oh its ok, hes the Apple man hes allowed to'. Where is the balance? I think somewhere in between to be honest - Jobs and Gates are simply very ruthless business persons, and yet here at Slashdot there is a decided overflow towards Apple.


    Bill Gates and Microsoft (Score:4, Insightful) []

    I agree that these guys have a right to some privacy. Most interesting to me is that the comments here on /. are generally supportive so far. What a different thread it would be if this had been Bill Gates and Microsoft instead of Steve Jobs and Apple.

    Nevermind the many highly rated comments suggesting Jobs back off [], recounted how Jobs screwed Woz [] over a petty amount of money, or called Jobs an unbelievable asshole [].

    So clever.

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!