On Wed, Jan 18, 2023 at 11:39 AM Larry McVoy <lm@mcvoy.com> wrote:
Someone once told me that if they had physical access to a Unix box, they
would get root.  That has been true forever and it's even more true today,
pull the root disk, mount it on Linux, drop your ssh keys in there or add
a no password root or setuid a shell, whatever, if you can put your hands
on it, you can get in.
A reasonable point, but I think it really depends on the UNIX implementation I suspect.  Current mac OS is pretty well hardened from this, with their current enclaves and needing to boot home to Apple to get keys if things are not 100% right. Not saying you or I can not, but basically means the same cracking tricks you need to use for iPhones. It's not as easy as you describe.   

The ubiquitous Internet/WiFi changed the rules - as you can start to keep some set of keys somewhere else and then encrypt the local volumes.   In fact, one of the things they do if mac OS boot detects that root has been modified (it has a crypto index stored away when it was made read-only), the boot rolls back to the last root snapshot -- since they are all read-only that works.   In fact, it is a PITA to update/fix things like traditional scripts (for instance the scripts in the /etc/periodic area).   Basically, they make it really unnatural to change the root files system, make a new snapshot and index (I have yet to see it documented although, with much pain, I previously created a procedure that is close -- i.e. it once worked on my pre-Ventura Mac - but currently -- fails, so I need to some more investigation when I can bring this back to the top of the importance/curiosity stack (I have a less than satisfying end around for now so I'm ignoring doing it properly).