Show typing instead of bullets in System password entry dialogs?

Posted:
in Genius Bar
Does anyone happen to know of a hidden (defaults write) preference command that will show our typing instead of bullets when entering passwords in dialogs for admin authentication, encrypted disk images and keychain prompts in El Capitan 10.11.6?

Some of my passwords are so long that I am constantly making mistakes that I can't see when typing them out  :(


Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    There’s a Safari extension to do that. Why you’d trust an extension to do that is beyond me, but it exists. ShowPass, if you’re interested.

    EDIT: Oh, wait, the system. I don’t know of one. Hopefully it can’t be done.
    edited September 2016
  • Reply 2 of 11
    Hopefully it can’t be done.

    Why do feel that way?
    The risk of shoulder-surfing in many usage scenarios is minimal.
  • Reply 3 of 11
    timmmy said:
    The risk of shoulder-surfing in many usage scenarios is minimal.
    The risk of screen-grabbing malware is higher. Marginally, yes, but hey.  :p I’m paranoid.

    Maybe Secrets has one?
  • Reply 4 of 11
    If there is malware on your system it is already too late.
    If it  can grab your screen then there is no reason why it can't also log your keystrokes etc...
    Thanks for the app link, will check it out.
  • Reply 5 of 11
    jSnivelyjSnively Posts: 360administrator
    timmmy said:
    If there is malware on your system it is already too late.
    If it  can grab your screen then there is no reason why it can't also log your keystrokes etc...
    Thanks for the app link, will check it out.
    I hear ya, my 1password master password is something like 54 characters. I frequently mistype more than one. Sounds like what you really want/need is a biometric solution. It's a shame Apple hasn't gotten around to implementing TouchID on their macbooks yet. Maybe October :smile:
  • Reply 6 of 11
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,581moderator
    timmmy said:
    Does anyone happen to know of a hidden (defaults write) preference command that will show our typing instead of bullets when entering passwords in dialogs for admin authentication, encrypted disk images and keychain prompts in El Capitan 10.11.6?

    Some of my passwords are so long that I am constantly making mistakes that I can't see when typing them out  :(
    You can type them into a text document and copy/paste them into the dialog box. You can even save them locally in an encrypted location e.g disk image with a shorter password, open the file and double-click to select the word and copy/paste it.
  • Reply 7 of 11
    Marvin said:
    You can type them into a text document and copy/paste them into the dialog box. You can even save them locally in an encrypted location e.g disk image with a shorter password, open the file and double-click to select the word and copy/paste it.

    This actually does not work for System dialogs such as Admin prompts, encrypted diskimage prompts, or Keychain password dialogs. Text can't be pasted into these dialogs as far as i can tell on El Capitan (and earlier if my memory is correct.)

    I guess @jSnively is right, we will need to wait for Apple to give us a workable biometric solution...
  • Reply 8 of 11
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,581moderator
    timmmy said:
    Marvin said:
    You can type them into a text document and copy/paste them into the dialog box. You can even save them locally in an encrypted location e.g disk image with a shorter password, open the file and double-click to select the word and copy/paste it.
    This actually does not work for System dialogs such as Admin prompts, encrypted diskimage prompts, or Keychain password dialogs. Text can't be pasted into these dialogs as far as i can tell on El Capitan (and earlier if my memory is correct.)

    I guess @jSnively is right, we will need to wait for Apple to give us a workable biometric solution...
    You're right, they have restricted the copy/paste. You can work around it with AppleScript. If you open /Applications/Utilities/Script Editor and paste in the following:

    tell application "System Events" to tell process "SecurityAgent"
    set value of text field "Password:" of window 1 to (the clipboard)
    end tell

    File > export as an application and save it somewhere e.g /Applications and drag it into the Dock. Open system prefs > Security and Privacy > Privacy Tab > Accessibility and add the app into the panel.

    When you bring up a password input on a disk image or admin login, tapping the icon in the Dock will paste in whatever text you had copied from somewhere else so when you want to enter a password, you can either open a blank TextEdit window and type the password or have the passwords already saved then copy them, bring the login window forward and tap the Dock icon.

    Apple probably does this to discourage people putting their passwords into the copy/paste buffer where apps can read it easily. Another thing you can do is extend the AppleScript to open an input dialog which allows you to enter the password in plain text and it can set the password dialog to that value.

    Biometrics would help, touch id is fast at authenticating. It can be used for all sorts of online authentication as well as local. Setting up passwords for every online service quickly becomes tedious so people end up having to use password naming schemes or write them down in plain text or reuse passwords or use shorter ones, none of which are very secure.

    Sites can setup key pairs automatically that are very long and the OS can store the private keys locally in an encrypted location that uses touch id as a key as well as a password. That password can be short because it's also behind the default disk encryption. When a service requests a login, touch id would access the store and it doesn't even need to access the key itself, the service can send a message that can be decrypted by the key and only this temporary value is exchanged for authentication. The private key store would be synced to mobile devices so that services can be accessed the same way on mobile. This would put an end to site hacks requiring password resets because if they only have public keys, they aren't useful for logging into the service.

    This doesn't require touch id on the Mac, it can use an iPhone via the same process as auto-login and Apple Pay, it can have a single local password on the Mac.
  • Reply 9 of 11
    timmmytimmmy Posts: 68member
    Marvin said:
    You're right, they have restricted the copy/paste. You can work around it with AppleScript. If you open /Applications/Utilities/Script Editor and paste in the following:

    tell application "System Events" to tell process "SecurityAgent"
    set value of text field "Password:" of window 1 to (the clipboard)
    end tell

    File > export as an application and save it somewhere e.g /Applications and drag it into the Dock. Open system prefs > Security and Privacy > Privacy Tab > Accessibility and add the app into the panel.

    When you bring up a password input on a disk image or admin login, tapping the icon in the Dock will paste in whatever text you had copied from somewhere else so when you want to enter a password, you can either open a blank TextEdit window and type the password or have the passwords already saved then copy them, bring the login window forward and tap the Dock icon.

    Apple probably does this to discourage people putting their passwords into the copy/paste buffer where apps can read it easily. Another thing you can do is extend the AppleScript to open an input dialog which allows you to enter the password in plain text and it can set the password dialog to that value.
    .
    Very nice.
    Doesn't remove the bullets from the dialogs but pasting into these dialogs sounds pretty useful nonetheless.
  • Reply 10 of 11
    I understand the new Pages does not support merging.  I have been using Pages '09 v. 4.3 for merging and it has worked great.  However, now that I have installed OS X El Capitan which came with the new Pages I can no longer get my '09 version to merge my selected contacts.  Is there anything I can do?  I must send out letters immediately and have been unsuccessful.  
  • Reply 11 of 11
    timmmytimmmy Posts: 68member
    Gary41 said:
    I understand the new Pages does not support merging.  I have been using Pages '09 v. 4.3 for merging and it has worked great.  However, now that I have installed OS X El Capitan which came with the new Pages I can no longer get my '09 version to merge my selected contacts.  Is there anything I can do?  I must send out letters immediately and have been unsuccessful.  
    Oops.
    Looks like you accidentally posted your question as a reply to an unrelated discussion @Gary41

    You should probably go to the Apple Software Genius forum and start a New Discussion by choosing the "New Discussion" button near the left/top area of page.

    Sorry, I don't have any experience with Pages, but hopefully some other posters will see your post and be able to help if you start a new discussion.
Sign In or Register to comment.