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  1. #1
    Single-using mode: booting in root without password?
    When you boot in the single-user mode (by holding command-S when booting), you will boot in root user. But why isn't there any promt asking for password?

    And I thought MacOS X was superior in security...

    Anyone want to comment on that?

  2. #2

    MacsWork's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 22, 2005
    Closer than you think.
    Performa 6116 2GBSCSI 8MB OS 7.5.3
    If you need that security there is an Open Firmware security patch that requires a password on single user mode and also prohibits using the t and c at boot time as well.

  3. #3

    Avalon's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 25, 2004
    Luxemburg, Europe
    PowerMac G5 Dual 2GHz (June 2004), 2.5GB, Airport, black 5G iPod 30GB, white MacBook 2.0 2GB
    Quote Originally Posted by AlexN
    And I thought MacOS X was superior in security...
    When you have physical access to a computer, no matter which OS it is running, it is vulnerable.
    Even on Linux you can acces the data on a computer by simply booting from a live CD.
    Which you can't on a Mac with an Open Firmware password set though...this security is Mac-specific, not OS related.

  4. #4
    As is said above this is not that unusual for an OS. Boot CDs can get you into most systems, and Single user mode is available on multiple (most?) *nix Operating Systems.

    Rule # 213: If a hacker has physical access to the machine and can set boot type the machine is effectively compromised. Windows, Linux, BSD, Mac, AIX.... It does not matter what OS it is.

    Open firmware is your best bet, but even then it could be compromised with a little more effort I bet. (A disk swap to an otherwise identical machine or into a external drive casing comes to mind.)

    You can always use crypto disk images for sensitive data. Then even w/ root access you won't get into those areas without a password. Just be sure to not lose the password. Having to brute force crack a password is no fun when it is properly complex.

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