Wow, this is a bad one. On Macs running the latest version of High Sierra — 10.13.1 (17B48) — it appears that anyone can log in just by putting “root” in the user name field. This is a huge, huge problem. Apple will fix it probably within hours but holy moly. Do not leave your Mac unattended until this is resolved.
The bug is most easily accessed by going to Preferences and then entering one of the panels that has a lock in the lower left-hand corner. Normally you’d click that to enter your user name and password, which are required to change important settings like those in Security & Privacy.
No need to do that any more! Just enter “root” instead of your user name and hit enter. After a few tries, it should log right in. There’s no need to do this yourself to verify it. Doing so creates a “root” account that others may be able to take advantage of if you don’t disable it.
The bug appears to have been first noticed by Lemi Orhan Ergin, founder of Software Craftsman Turkey, who noted it publicly on Twitter.
Needless to say, this is incredibly, incredibly bad. Once you log in, you’ve essentially authenticated yourself as the owner of the computer. You can add administrators, change critical settings, lock out the current owner, and so on. Do not leave your Mac unattended until this is resolved.
So far this has worked on every preference panel we’ve tried, and when I used “root” at the login screen it immediately created and pulled up a new user with system administrator privileges. It didn’t work on a 10.13 (17A365) machine, but that one is also loaded up with Aol bloatware — sorry, Oath bloatware — which may affect things.
A potential fix is to log into the “root” account and change its password to… well, anything. But the safest thing is to not expose your device to any unfamiliar environments until the bug is fixed.
We’ve asked Apple for comment, but I’m guessing they’re pretty busy. We hope they have a fix soon because no one should leave their Mac unattended until this is resolved.
Thecomputerheale.com makes no claims about the efficacy of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this website for any purpose. All information, documents and graphics are provided "as is" without any kind of guarantee of effectiveness. Thecomputerhealer.com hereby disclaims all responsibility for the manner in which the information offered on this website is used by you.
In no event shall Thecomputerhealeronline.com be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from the loss of use, data or profits arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this website.
The documents and related graphics published on this website may include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information on this website. Thecomputerhealer.com reserves the right, at its discretion, to change or modify all or any part of this agreement and the content on website at any time, effective immediately upon publication of this notice.
Your continued use of this website constitutes your binding acceptance of these terms and conditions, including any changes or modifications made by Thecomputerhealer.com as permitted above. If, at any time, the terms and conditions of this agreement are no longer acceptable to you, you should immediately cease using this website.