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Research > Zero-Day Tracker > 20110918

OS X Lion Fails to Verify Authentication Before Changing User Password

Date Disclosed:

Date Patched:


Affected Software:
Apple OS X Lion

OS X Lion does not request  user authentication at the time that a local user attempts to change their password. Therefore, any user account that is currently logged in can have their password changed by someone, with local access, who does not know the account's password.


Code Execution:

Partially Authenticated Password Change
This vulnerability allows any person with access to an authenticated user's account to change that user's password without knowing the existing password. This could be directly exploitable by people with physical access to the machine, or by remote attackers that utilize attack vectors, such as malicious Java Applets to execute unprivileged commands on the user's system.

Limit regular users' access to the dscl utility:

sudo chmod 100 /usr/bin/dscl



9.18.2011 - Public Information Released
10.12.2011 - Apple releases Security Update 2011-006 for Snow Leopard and Lion

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