Can Anyone Just Delete My Entire MacOS?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by HappyDude20, Nov 1, 2018.

  1. HappyDude20 macrumors 68030

    HappyDude20

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    #1
    hi all,

    So I’m getting ready to sell my iMac and I noticed that all I had to do was go press the power button, hold command and r to get into recovery mode and I erased my hard drive with the 7 pass option. I had everything backed up but this iMac had over a terabyte of photos and music and files that I fear could’ve easily been lost if someone was inclined to just restore the computer like that.

    No password prompt or anything of the sort within recovery mode for me. Maybe there was a security option I never turned on?
     
  2. chrfr macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #2
    Using a firmware password would protect against that to some degree.
     
  3. HappyDude20 thread starter macrumors 68030

    HappyDude20

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    #3
    How would I go about doing this?

    Why would Apple allow this in the first place? Doesn’t this mean the same can be done to a MacBook or any other Mac?

    I get it for iOS devices as they can be stolen so erasing automatic after ten attempts seems understandable. But to be able to go to any Mac and just restore it without it even having to be the owner of the computer seems abhorrent to me.
     
  4. artnoi macrumors member

    artnoi

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2018
    Location:
    Bangkok
    #4
    True. Wiping any partitions when you’re in recovery mode does not require passwords. It should be so, IMHO, otherwise a firevault protected disks with lost keys are never going to be usable again. Apple may have thought, least, your data is not stolen or even read in any ways.

    But one thing to note is that Find My Mac still works (in my case) after wiping out the old installation! I sold an MBP and did a complete clean reinstall on it, and the Mac still showed up on my Find My Mac, and I could control it.
     
  5. HappyDude20 thread starter macrumors 68030

    HappyDude20

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    #5
    This is still very upsetting. Can this be remedied with the new T2 security chip?

    I know the odds of someone breaking into my home and entering recovery mode to simply delete and erase my entire drive within my at-home iMac is far fetched.

    But I can’t help but keep thinking about this. Imagine if a jealous ex girlfriend was to break in, run in and grab my iMac and rush out the door only for her to erase my hard drive without needing any credentials on my
    iMac?

    Same goes for my MacBook Pro. Imagine if it gets stolen at Starbucks and then the thief resets my drive and reinstalls Yosemite so they themselves can upgrade to Mojave.

    Like, sorry but what the heck? This freaks me out and makes me think a Kensington lock is the true physical security.
     
  6. CoastalOR macrumors 68020

    CoastalOR

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #6
    Here is the requested information about firmware password:
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204455
    A password to enter recovery and delete your internal drive would not prevent loss of data and/or hardware.

    I think the key to your loss of data concerns is a good backup strategy that backs up all files and the backups are stored on and off site. A computer hardware failure, fire, natural disaster or theft could also result in loss to everything on your computers. I do not know of any way to absolutely prevent loss of your computer hardware, but you can protect your data with on and off site backups that can be restored to a computer replacement. Home owners insurance would be the way to recover loss of hardware due to theft and disaster.

    Security is usually limited on how much you are willing to spend and how much inconvenience you are willing to tolerate.
     

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5 November 1, 2018