Hack a Mac

About: Something random.

DISCLAIMER:I take know responsibility for your actions, I am making an Instructable on ETHICAL hacking for the hacking contest. If you use this to gain access to a computer that you do not own without permission that is considered un-ethical hacking (Black-Hat) or more simply hacking and is a felony In the United States and most other countries. Follow at your own risk.

Edit: this has been featured on an Italian blog (I don't know why but I don't care) here.

As much as I and fellow Mac users Would like to believe differently Mac OS X is actually quite easy to hack if you have machine access. In this Instructable we are going to boot into single user mode (�(alt)+s at startup) and delete a file that the computer checks for at startup that tells it that it has been setup. If you follow this Instructable word for word than no harm should befall the target computer. I do not yet know if this works on Lion because I do not yet have Lion.


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Step 1: Resources

So there is no way that I  would have gone in to single user mode and randomly pressed a bunch of keys until I had a new admin account by myself, so I would like to thank this tutorial and the comments in it. It is actually not the one that I learned from and it is a bit outdated, but I can not find the tutorial where I originally learned to do this.

Step 2: Write This Down.

Ok So Write down the following line for line,  then read the rest of this Instructable. (starting at the /sbin part)

/sbin/mount -uw /
rm /var/db/.applesetupdone


Step 3: Boot Into Single User Mode

So the next step would be to boot into single user mode however I recommend that you read the whole Instructable first.

Hold down command and s at startup (command is the apple key) (do this before the apple appears on the screen).

After waiting about 30 seconds for it to load you should get something like the picture. (I apolagize for picture quality again it was taken on my ipod.) It should say something like:
"If you wish to make modifications to files
/sbinfsyck -fy
/sbin/mount -uw /
(there should be something here but I forgot what it was)
/: root"

Step 4: Enter Line One

Now that you are at a prompt in single user mode (the bottom line should say something like root) you need to type in "/sbin/mount -uw /" (without the quotes). Do not for get the last "/" or else it will go into read only mode not allowing you to make changes.  This picture does not show the last "/" but do not forget it!

Step 5: Enter Line Two Press Enter and Reboot

Now that we have entered line on we need to press enter so that we can enter line two.

rm /var/db/.applesetupdone

After typing "rm /var/db/.applesetupdone" press enter than type reboot and press enter yet again.

Your computer (I assume it is yours?) will now reboot and offer the initial account setup process again do not worry your data is still safe.

Step 6: Setup the Account

Now you can do the account setup however you want HOWEVER DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE DURING THE ACCOUNT SETUP USE THE SAME USERNAME (long name or short name) AS ANOTHER UER ON THAT COMPUTER OR IT WILL OVERWRITE THERE EXISTING DATA. Now there is one thing that could be problematic let's see if you can spot it in picture number nine.

(For those of you who did not spot it it renames the computer to whatever name you used during the setup.)

You now have full admin privileges and as such you can strip other accounts of there administrator rights, or do whatever you please.



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    3 Discussions

    You know what I really do not know seeing as to how I have not upgraded yet (I have a lot of software that runs under rossetta which they took out of lion) however I did find this which might be worth a try.

    That looks pretty good to me, but there is a much easier version. Because lion has no install CD, the password is reset by booting into recovery mode, going into terminal, and typing "resetpassword". It couldn't be much easier!