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Archive for September 25, 2017

Changing local account passwords may cause new login keychain to be silently generated on macOS High Sierra

September 25, 2017 10 comments

As part of my testing of macOS High Sierra, I’ve noticed that login behavior has changed for local accounts, in cases where the password of the login keychain is different from the password of the account logging in.

On macOS Sierra, the following behavior occurs when the password of the login keychain is different from the password of the local account logging in:

1. The login process pauses
2. You’re prompted to continue login, create a new keychain, or update the existing keychain password.

Screen Shot 2017 09 23 at 4 46 06 PM

3. If you choose to update the existing keychain password, you enter the keychain’s current password (which is usually the account’s former password.)

Screen Shot 2017 09 23 at 4 46 21 PM

4. The login process proceeds and the desktop comes up.

On macOS High Sierra, the following behavior occurs when the password of the login keychain is different from the password of the local account logging in:

1. The login keychain with the different password is renamed to login_renamed_number_goes_here.keychain-db and stored in ~/Library/Keychains.

Screen Shot 2017 09 23 at 8 01 46 PM

2. A new login keychain is created in ~/Library/Keychains. The new login keychain is named login.keychain-db and uses the password of the local account logging in.

Screen Shot 2017 09 23 at 8 01 50 PM

Note: This is behavior I’ve observed for local accounts only. I have not been able to test with network accounts, like Active Directory mobile accounts.

Update 9-26-2017: This behavior was addressed in the betas for Active Directory mobile accounts:

The reason why this behavior is problematic is that anything stored in the former login keychain is not transferred to the new login keychain. Saved passwords, certificates, and any other secrets stored in the now-former login keychain will not be present in the new login keychain. They will need to be manually copied, or re-saved into the new login keychain.

For more details, see below the jump.

Read more…

Categories: Mac administration, macOS
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