Apple’s operating systems have recently had more than their fair share of serious security issues, and the latest problem will be enough to rattle millions of Mac users.
Previously credible researcher Linuz Henze has revealed an exploit that in one button press can reveal the passwords in a Mac’s keychain.
Keychain is where macOS stores most of the passwords used on the machine, ranging from iMessage private encryption keys to certificates, secured notes, Wi-Fi, and other Apple hardware passwords, app passwords, and web passwords.
A pre-installed app called Keychain Access enables users to view the entire list of stored items, unlocking each one individually by repeatedly entering the system password, but Henze’s KeySteal exploit grabs everything with a single press of a “Show me your secrets” button.
Henze demonstrates KeySteal in a YouTube video (via 9to5Mac) depicting the latest public version of macOS Mojave, 10.14.3, but says that the exploit also exists on earlier versions of macOS.
While the demo is run on a 2014 MacBook Pro without Apple’s latest security chips, Henze says that it works “without root or administrator privileges and without password prompts, of course.” It appears to work on the Mac’s login and system keychains, but not iCloud’s keychain.