Apple Releases macOS High Sierra Security Update to Fix Root Password Vulnerability

Apple today released Security Update 2017-001 to fix a serious vulnerability that enables access to the root superuser account with a blank password on any Mac running macOS High Sierra version 10.13.1.

rootbug
The critical bug, which gained attention after it was tweeted by developer Lemi Ergin yesterday, lets anyone gain administrator privileges by simply entering the username "root" and a blank password in System Preferences > Users & Groups.

The security update is rolling out on the Mac App Store now, and it should be installed by all users running macOS High Sierra as soon as possible. Regardless, starting later today, Apple said the security update will be automatically installed on all Macs running macOS High Sierra 10.13.1.

Apple has since apologized for the vulnerability in a statement issued to MacRumors:

Security is a top priority for every Apple product, and regrettably we stumbled with this release of macOS.

When our security engineers became aware of the issue Tuesday afternoon, we immediately began working on an update that closes the security hole. This morning, as of 8 a.m., the update is available for download, and starting later today it will be automatically installed on all systems running the latest version (10.13.1) of macOS High Sierra.

We greatly regret this error and we apologize to all Mac users, both for releasing with this vulnerability and for the concern it has caused. Our customers deserve better. We are auditing our development processes to help prevent this from happening again.

The vulnerability does not affect macOS Sierra or any other previous version of the operating system.

Related Forum: macOS High Sierra

Top Rated Comments

aforty Avatar
82 months ago
How embarrassing...

I wish Apple did a better job testing their releases. We used to enjoy such high quality when it came to software updates and releases.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bwintx Avatar
82 months ago
That was quick
And it was utterly necessary that it be just that.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dannyyankou Avatar
82 months ago
That was quick
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AbSoluTc Avatar
82 months ago
How embarrassing...

I wish Apple did a better job testing their releases. We used to enjoy such high quality when it came to software updates and releases.
You ever heard of Windows? Perhaps you should read up on that OS if you haven't.

Also, give me a break. Nobody finds everything, not even "Apple". Patched quickly and painlessly. Move along.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
longofest Avatar
82 months ago
You ever heard of Windows? Perhaps you should read up on that OS if you haven't.

Also, give me a break. Nobody finds everything, not even "Apple". Patched quickly and painlessly. Move along.
Three... count 'em... THREE... critical and ridiculous security issues with Mac OS High Sierra within as many months. This one, the Disk utility one, and the keychain one. And that's just the security issues...

There's no excuse for it. Saying "well, microsoft is just as bad" just means that Apple is stooping to Microsoft's level... but I'd actually venture to say that Apple is starting to get worse than Microsoft when it comes to Mac OS vs Windows.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
discuit Avatar
82 months ago
This is actually an argument in favor of public disclosure of vulnerabilities. Lemi Orhan Ergin was catching a lot of criticism yesterday for posting it on twitter, but if this bug had been reported privately, it would have taken much longer to fix, while malicious actors would be able to exploit it all along.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
General Apps Messages

iOS 17.4 to Add This 'Groundbreaking' New Messaging Feature

Friday February 23, 2024 5:05 am PST by
With iOS 17.4, set to arrive in March 2024, Apple is bringing a new cryptographic security feature to iMessage called PQ3. This "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks," according to Apple. Let's break down what that means. Apple's iMessage service already supports end-to-end encryption, but security...
iPhone Notch

Apple Explored These Notch and Dynamic Island Designs for iPhones

Friday February 23, 2024 2:05 pm PST by
With the iPhone 14 Pro models in 2022, Apple introduced the Dynamic Island, which can morph and expand to display system alerts, sports scores, and a variety of other information. The feature makes the space surrounding the front camera and Face ID sensors useful compared to the notch on older iPhone models. Apple explored a variety of ideas for the iPhone's notch area over the years before...
New Macs iPads iOS 17 4

What to Expect at Potential Apple Event in March: iPads, Macs, and More

Friday February 23, 2024 8:35 am PST by
Apple often holds its first media event of the year in March, so the company could be just weeks away from announcing new products. Below, we have outlined what to expect from a potential Apple Event this March. Past Apple Events in March Apple has held five events in March since 2015:Monday, March 9, 2015 Monday, March 21, 2016 Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Monday, March 25, 2019 Tuesday,...
iOS 17

When Will Apple Release iOS 17.4 for iPhones?

Friday February 23, 2024 11:56 am PST by
Apple has been beta testing iOS 17.4 for nearly a month now. Below, we explain when the update is likely to be released to all users. In its press release announcing major App Store changes in the EU, which were implemented in response to new regulations under the EU's Digital Markets Act, Apple confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released at some point in March:Developers can learn about these...
iOS 18 Mock Feature Baubles

iOS 18 Rumored to Have Design Changes, macOS Revamp Coming Later

Sunday February 25, 2024 8:55 am PST by
iOS 18 will likely include some design changes, but a macOS revamp might be a year or two away, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In his Power On newsletter today, Gurman said Apple is working to update the design of iOS as "early as this year." A sketchy rumor claimed that iOS 18 would feature some visionOS-inspired design elements, and while Gurman agreed that iOS could take some...