There's an embarrassing and risky security hole in the latest Mac software

Lemi Orhan Ergin on Twitter:

People are upset with Apple over a nasty security flaw apparently discovered on Tuesday in the latest version of MacOS, called High Sierra.

Once the phantom account is created, a user simply needs to enter "root" as a username and, without entering a password, hit enter to unlock. The bug didn't work on a Mac with older software. But given the cartoonish extremity of this bug, chances are a fix will be available soon. Enter the administrator name and password. But for now, if you're using macOS High Sierra, take a moment to change the root password now, please.

This gives root access to the computer - meaning a person could operate the device as if they were an administrator and could download malicious software or otherwise compromise the computer. Engadget has confirmed that you can gain root access in the login screen, the System Preferences Users & Groups tab and File Vault with this method. (The company maintains an invite-only bug bounty program.) Despite its incredibly alarming simplicity, The Verge is not reproducing the steps to bypass High Sierra's login screen here. You can see how to exploit works in the video below.

Click the lock in the bottom left corner to unlock, then go to Edit (in the menu on your Mac) and "Change Root Password".

Customers trying iPads in an Apple store

Users can click on the login options button, then select the join network account server option. There are likely many more ways that someone taking advantage of the issue could wreak havoc on a Mac desktop or laptop.

Currently, there is no official fix from Apple regarding the issue.

You can patch this problem right now by creating a root account manually and giving it a secure password. Just open System Preferences Security & Privacy and click the lock button at the bottom of the window.

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