Mac Security

Mac’s are great, make it even better by considering implementing security in your Open Firmware. Also consider Linux programs that don’t run very well but should, this could be a symptom that your computer has been comprimised. If an attacker gains access to your Open Firmware, they will have control of all the hardware on your computer. This can help fix it.

First begin by booting your Mac and go to the Open Firmware prompt. This can be done by holding Apple-Option-O-F for a few seconds after pressing the power button. When you see the white screen, you’re in the Open Firmware shell. Now reset the Open Firmware to it’s default settings:


The computer will reboot with the reset-all command. Enter the Open Firmware shell again with Apple-Option-O-F.

Now a password needs to be set and a security-mode choosen. There are three types of security available: none, command, and full.

  • None – all commands allowed without password.
  • Command – Commands “go” and “boot” (no arguments) allowed (allows you to boot but not change any other settings without a password).
  • Full – Password required before entering any command.

I prefer to use full security, I’ll leave it up to you.

Enable a password and set security type:

setenv security-mode full

Now reboot and the settings are in effect. If you used full security then the Open Firmware password prompt will appear. To start Linux, type in:


and then you will be prompted for the password.

Note: I have to type boot twice to boot into yaboot due to a bug in yaboot-1.3.14 and older.

To disable, just set password protection to “None”:

setenv security-mode none

Apple is a great company that is doing alot to help the computer business. I’m still nettled a bit (I just expect products to work), but they were professional through the whole of it. I’m still an Apple user (both my laptop and server are Apple products), and plan to keep on supporting them. Thanks for putting up with the rough time Apple.

This should help get you Mac nice and safe!



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