Feeds

Apple logging passwords in plain text

Lion debug ‘feature’ breaks security

The essential guide to IT transformation

A post to Cryptome is pointing the finger at Apple for logging plain-text passwords of users of “legacy” Filevault under Lion 10.7.3.

According to David Emery, the February update of Lion turned on a debug switch which, as a result, logs in plain text the password of a user of an encrypted directory tree. “Thus anyone who can read files accessible to group admin can discover the login passwords of any users of legacy (pre LION) Filevault home directories who have logged in since the upgrade to 10.7.3 in early February 2012,” the post notes.

It’s not the first time this logging behavior has been spotted, but only with the Cryptome post has it strayed beyond one post to Apple and a thread on Novell’s forums wondering what’s going on.

Emery says the log is accessible via a number of approaches, including opening the machine’s drive in Firewire disk mode, or booting via the recovery partition.

One of the Novell thread posters suggests symlinking /var/logs/secure.log to /dev/null to kill the logging.

While the passwords are only locally available, Emery notes that the logging breaks the "family security" model in which different users of the same machine are kept away from each others' files. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
KER-CHING! CryptoWall ransomware scam rakes in $1 MEEELLION
Anatomy of the net's most destructive ransomware threat
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?