How secure is Macbook protected password?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by LaurCan, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. LaurCan macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2013
    Good morning all. My 2011 MacBook Pro has been stolen, it is protected by an administrator password. I do care about my notebook but I care more about the data, and I'd rather have the new owner wipe it all but not getting access to all my professional and personal files. How easy is it to crack my password? thank you
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    If your drive was not encrypted using filevault or any other encryption program then your data is accessible. The thief will only need to do is create a new admin account and he'll have access to your data

    Sorry about your loss :(

    My company requires encryption on their laptops for this very reason.
  3. pmau macrumors 65816

    Nov 9, 2010
    Or connect an external drive and boot from it.
    If you have physical access, everything is possible if the data is not encrypted.

    BTW. The user passwords are hashes and are compared against your hashed password input. The account password itself is not stored in cleartext.

    This is of course not true for all other passwords stored in your keychain ...
    They are accessible after booting from external drives and resetting the original admin password...
  4. sonicrobby macrumors 68020


    Apr 24, 2013
    New Orleans
    Curious, have you tried using the "find my mac" feature on
  5. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    To be honest, the average thief is not going to be interested in your data. They just want a quick sale for a bag.

    Whoever buys a "bargain" in some pub is likely to want to delete all traces of previous owner, to avoid the constant nagging accusation that it isn't really theirs.

    Most people whose hands the laptop will pass through are unlikely to conceive of the opportunity to wade through your data for something to exploit, or lack the ability to use that data in an effective criminal manner.

    As said, have you tried Find My MAc on iCloud? You may even be able to lock the device remotely, if it's set up.
  6. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    No encryption means easy access. However, this will happen only if the thief is interested in your data. Most likely, it'll get wiped out when he tries to sell ti.
  7. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    The thief does not even need to "crack" your password. Apple was nice enough to leave a password reset utility right on the recovery partition to make it easy for the thief.

    Just command-r boot to recovery and start Terminal then select the admin account (yours) and type in "resetpassword" then enter a new password. Now reboot and enter that new password. Presto.... the thief has full access to your account/data.

    Like others mentioned, most thieves will just wipe the drive and sell the machine, but if for some reason they want access to your data, it is very very easy to do.

    Maybe use the built in OS X Filevault encryption on your next machine. That is very secure and the PW cannot be reset like I described.
  8. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    Plus you can use a Firmware password and just don't forget the password!

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