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OS X Lion offers Safari access to guests on locked Macs

by Hugo Jobling on 13 June 2011, 12:02

Tags: iMac, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)

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Some eager-eyed beta testers have discovered an interesting feature of Apple's forthcoming OS X Lion operating system update, which the company itself has not detailed, in the form of Guest Mode access, giving users without login details access Safari.

Image credit: 9to5Mac

Ostensibly this is a useful way to allow guest users of a locked Mac to browse the web, without having to let them into your user account. However, combining the details revealed by MacRumours and 9to5Mac it looks like Lion's 'Restart to Safari' mode might be a bit more cunning than that, working as a honeypot to lure thieves into connecting stolen Macs to Internet, where the Find my Mac function can then remotely lock, wipe, or possibly locate the system.

Obviously a determined thief is likely to wipe a stolen Mac rather then start using a browser on it, but the less savvy misappropriator of goods might well be caught out. We can see the delicious irony in the potential for a Mac being located while its thief searches online for "how to remove a Mac password."

Besides which, even if the security aspect of guest mode Safari is the main reason for its implementation, its offering a simple way for guest users to be given access to a Mac without giving them access to your personal data is likely to have a decent amount of appeal.

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