OMG, Seriously? - APFS Encrypted Plaintext Password found in ANOTHER (More Persistent!) macOS Log File


At some point you just need to stop looking and be blissfully ignorant...this was not one of those days. 

In and update to my previously updated blog article, I have found another instance where the plaintext password was written to system logs. This time I found it in more persistent log. This is actually a worse problem than the one I previously reported on.

The previous examples were found in the unified logs which can hang around for a few weeks, this new example stores the exact same information in the system's /var/log/install.log. I have found that the install.log will only get wiped out upon major re-installation (ie: 10.11 -> 10.12 -> 10.13), therefore these plaintext passwords will hang around for quite a bit longer than a few weeks!  I had entries dating back to when I originally installed High Sierra on this system back in November of 2017! 

Twitter user @sirkkalap, was unable to re-create what I previously reported on. I finally got some time this afternoon to re-test. As it turns out, I was unable to re-create my results from 03/24. I assumed that at some point in the past few days a silent security update was pushed out. I went to my install.log file to investigate further. As far as updates go - the only thing that has potential to be the cause of the fix is a GateKeeper ConfigData update v138 ( I have not investigated if this was the true cause. I have not updated to 10.13.4 yet, this was on 10.13.3.

During this investigations I was VERY surprised to see the same diskmanagementd logs that I had found in the unified logs. Why are they logged in the software installation log at all, I have no clue. It makes absolutely no sense to me.