SecureMac.com
About SecureMac Advertise Security Consulting Mac Security Store Send Feedback

Site Information
Site Background
Who runs the site
Advertising
Security Consulting
Employment/Jobs
Feedback Form

SecureMac Software
PrivacyScan

 

Mac OS X Security
sudo buffer overflow exploit + fix
Disable Single User Boot Mode
Malevolence - Dumping Passwords
nidump security
Startup Security - Open Firmware Password Protection

Mac OS X Network Security
SAINT
Secure FTP Wrapper
Ettercap - sniffer interceptor logger
Snort - Network Intrusion Detection System
SSH Admin
SSH Helper
xnu - enable MAC Address spoofing


Mac OS X Virus

Mac OS X Firewalls
Firewalk Firewall Utility
NetBarrier X

Mac OS X App Sec.

Mac OS X Encryption
LittleSecrets
GPGMail - PGP Functionality

Mac OS X DoS

SecureMac Library
Mac Cable Modem Security
Mac Security Auditing
Mac OS X Security Understanding
Mac OS X Security Second Lessons
Mac OS X Security Third Lesson
Mac OS X Single User Mode Root Access
Mac OS X Shareware Firewalls
Mac OS X Secure Installation
Cable & DSL Connections - Security Measures
Better Safe than Sorry
Apple.com Security Resources
Marketing Macintosh Security Programs

Open Firmware Password Protection
by CodeSamurai of SecureMac.com


Jump to: FWSucker - Displays the existing Firmware password

Disclaimer & Warning

Enabling the Open Firmware password protection feature is done so at your own risk; the author of this article and/or SecureMac will NOT be held accountable or responsible for whatever you do. Changes to Open Firmware that have not been explicitly endorsed by Apple may damage your computer's logic board. Any repairs that are necessary because of this damage would not be covered under the terms of the Apple One-Year Limited Warranty, AppleCare Protection Plan, or other AppleCare agreement.

Also, updating the Open Firmware with security enabled has been reported to cause permanent password corruption (and the security-mode setting before the update stays). So disable password protection security before applying any Open Firmware update.


Information

Apple's latest Open Firmware update introduces support for additional security options which allow the Open Firmware to be password protected. Similar to the typical PC BIOS password protection feature, this feature in Apple's implementation of Open Firmware allows you to password protect your computer's ability to boot. Furthermore, Apple went above and beyond the Open Firmware 1275 specification and added a progressive delay technique to discourage brute force hacking of the Open Firmware password. The delay itself increases in a pattern of 2^x seconds. If you don't quite understand what the "progressive delay technique" is, you can check it out on a machine with password protection enabled by pressing the return key several times at the password request prompt. Also note, zapping the PRAM (through Command + Option + P + R or even TechTool's "complete zap") will not disable or remove the password protection.

The way this password protection feature works is that there's an Open Firmware command "password" which will request you to set your password, and then on confirmation of what you typed as you password, it sets that as the password. Then, you must tell it to enable the security and specify which setting level of security you wish. This is stored as the "security-mode" variable which can be set to one of three modes: "none", "command", or "full". The "none" mode effectively disables security. The "command" mode just restricts the commands that may be executed to "go" and "boot". Additionally, under the "command" mode, the "boot" command may not have any arguments--that is, it will only boot the device specified in the boot device variable; no other command may be entered or any settings changed unless the password is supplied. Moreover, this password protection feature also applies to booting up with the option key held down (which allows you to choose from available bootable volumes through a built-in graphical user interface). Finally, in "full" mode, the machine is completely prohibited from booting until the password is entered.


Procedure

Enabling Password Protection

1) Boot into the Open Firmware. (Command + Option + O + F)

2) At the command prompt, type "password" (without the quotes, of course). You will be prompted to enter in the password you wish to use. Type your password, press the return key, retype your password again, and press return to verify that that the first password you typed is indeed the password you want. (Note: the password is stored in the "security-password" variable, but the contents of this variable is never shown via the "printenv" command.)

3) Type "setenv security-mode full" OR "setenv security-mode command" OR "setenv security-mode none", depending on which level of security you wish.

4) Then type "reset-all" to restart the computer.


Disabling Password Protection

1) Boot into the Open Firmware. (Command + Option + O + F)

2) Type "setenv security-mode none" and press return.

3) Enter in the password at the password request prompt and press return.

4) Then type "reset-all" to restart the computer.


Force Removing Password Protection

1) Add or remove DIMMs to change the total amount of RAM in the computer.

2) Then, the PRAM must be reset 3 times. (Command + Option + P + R).

FWSucker:
Retrieving the Password Used with Software


If you are allready booted into the MacOS the Open Firmware Password can be retrieved by using the application FWSucker created by mSec. We warn you of this program because many administrators believe that their Macs are secure at night when they shut them off just because they have the Open Firmware Password set. Be cautious of this application, and if you are using any desktop security software we suggest keeping this program restricted by it.

Download FWSucker for Open Firmware Password Retrival

FWSucker.sit from SecureMac.com


Links

Power Mac G4 Firmware 4.1.8 Update
G4 Cube Firmware 4.1.8 Update
iMac Firmware 4.1.7 Update
iBook Firmware 4.1.7 Update
PowerBook Firmware 4.1.8 Update
Firmware Updates 4.1.7/4.1.8 May Disable Out-of-Spec Third-Party RAM
Apple Open Firmware Password Protection Notice
Apple Computer Open Firmware Home Page
Apple Open Firmware Technotes


FEEDBACK TIME!


Enter Email Address:

Enter your message:


Select Either of These Two Buttons




Security + OS
DiskLock
PowerBook Security Control Panel
Empower Pro
FileGuard
FreeGuard
FoolProof
Deus Lock Master
OnGuard
Keys Off
LockOut
MacOS Algorithm
Modem Security
Password Key
PGPuam
PPF
Shift Key Suite
Stealth Signal
SuperLock Lite
SuperLock Pro
Web-Confidential


Macintosh Viruses
Disinfectant
Sophos Anti-Virus
Norton AntiVirus
Nav 7 Nav 6 Nav X
Virex - Oct
VirusBarrier - Netupdate
vScan - Discontinued.

Mac Physical Security


Macintosh Firewalls
DoorStop Firewall
Firewall Q & A
IPNetSentry
NetBarrier
Norton Personal Firewall

Mac Spyware & Privacy
Monitorer
NetShred - Delete Files Safely

Network Security
MacAnalysis
Oyabun Tools
WDTech RAE
ToolDaemon

Application Security Issues
AIM - AOL Instant Messenger
Back Orifice
Eudora E-Mail Client
Internet Configure
IE 5.1, OE 5.1, Powerpoint, Excel Vulnerability
MS Personal webServer
NetBus
Outlook Express 4.5 Password Flaw
SubSeven
Sub7ME Server

Resource Info
AppleShare Server Info

Mac OS Encryption
EnScript
FGP
FileTwister
ForgotIt?
GenPass
MacLockSmith
My-Privacy
My Secret
PGPi
PGPhone
PGP Personal
PGP Freeware
PowerCrypt-dev
Private File
Quick Encrypt
SubRosa Utilities
Tresor

Deleting Files
Eraser Pro
ShredIt

Backups

Apple Hardware

MacOS DoS
Mac Attack


All material (c) 2014 SecureMac.com and respected owners