Is it actually possible to reset any OS X computer's password with an OS X CD?

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
My brother told me this the other day... he said that he can just take an OS X installer CD and hold down a certain key combo at startup and reset any OS X computer's password. And he's done it before too!



Tell me, are OS X computers REALLY that insecure? Or is there some way to lock down that feature?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    airslufairsluf Posts: 1,861member
  • Reply 2 of 9
    From <a href="http://www.osxfaq.com/Tutorials/password/index.ws"; target="_blank">OSX FAQ</a> (see bottom of page)
    • Boot up from the Mac OS X Installer CD.



      Once you have reached the initial Installer screen, select Reset Password from the Installer menu. This will automatically launch the Reset Password application.



      With Reset Password active, select the Mac OS X volume which contains the password you wish to change.



      After selecting the Mac OS X volume, click on the popup menu for the admin user that you want to reset the password.



      Once you have selected the admin user, type in the new password that you want in both the "Enter a new password for this user" and in "Reenter the new password for this user" fields.



      Now click on the Save button to save the new password for this user.



      After clicking on the Save button, go ahead and quit the Reset Password application which will bring you back to the initial Installer screen.



      From the initial Installer screen, select Quit Installer for the Installer menu.



      You will then be prompted on whether you want to quit, select the Restart button in this dialog to restart your machine.

    To lock down yor mac see <a href="http://www.osxfaq.com/Tutorials/lockdown/index.ws"; target="_blank">this page</a> on OSX FAQs (again at the bottom). Of course, there is a way to get around the Open Firmware password by changing the physical amount of RAM in the machine and double zapping the P-RAM so if you are really worried, get a computer lock for your machine.



    [edit: added "lock down" part and silly typo]



    [ 02-11-2003: Message edited by: The Milkman ]</p>
  • Reply 3 of 9
    overhopeoverhope Posts: 1,123member
    An Open Firmware Password disables the normal startup keystrokes so the Mac can't be booted from a CD in the first place.



    Knowledge Base article and download <a href="http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=120095"; target="_blank">here</a>.
  • Reply 4 of 9
    [quote]Originally posted by Luca Rescigno:

    <strong>My brother told me this the other day... he said that he can just take an OS X installer CD and hold down a certain key combo at startup and reset any OS X computer's password. And he's done it before too!



    Tell me, are OS X computers REALLY that insecure? Or is there some way to lock down that feature?</strong><hr></blockquote>

    What do u mean insecure ??? even with a Sun solaris box (regarded as mega secure) you can do this - if you want to diable it - just lock down the firmware... but its good to have the option though....
  • Reply 5 of 9
    noahjnoahj Posts: 4,502member
    A machine can be as secure as anything, but if the person that wants into the machine has physical access all bets are off unless you have it in a welded shut box. Better locks mean that criminals have to work harder, that is all.
  • Reply 6 of 9
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    I can install Windows NT on a Windows 2000 machine in a seperate directory and create a new admin password too. Then all teh filez r mien!! Muawahahaha!
  • Reply 7 of 9
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    Okay, I was just wondering. Now I know there is a way to get around it. However, there's really nothing on my computer that would be horrible if it got out, it's mainly because my little brother just decides to be a jerk sometimes and he does it just to piss me off. Whatever, I was just wondering. Thanks for the responses, people.
  • Reply 8 of 9
    bartobarto Posts: 2,246member
    NoahJ is right. I doesn't matter what computer you use, all bets are off when there is physical access. It's not Apple's fault, it's the way computer's work.



    You have to be able to get complete access to a computer somewhere, or else a computer is worthless. Right now, this is the physical location of a computer. If the palladium nightmare comes true, this will be Redmond, Washington.



    Barto
  • Reply 9 of 9
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    You can get that Firewire drive that does real time encryption. Then install OS X or whatever you want on it. Take the USB key when you leave
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