Secure Keyboard Entry Brings More Security to the Terminal in Mac OS X

Dec 1, 2011 - 3 Comments

Secure Keyboard Entry in Mac OS X Terminal

If you are using a public Mac or are just concerned about things like keyloggers and other potentially unauthorized access to your keystrokes, you can enable a feature in Mac OS X Terminal app that secures keyboard entry and input into the terminal. According to Apple, this feature “prevents other applications on your computer or the network from detecting and recording what is typed in into Terminal“, making it a good additional security measure when such precautions are needed. Enabling it is extremely easy:

  • Pull down the “Terminal” menu and select “Secure Keyboard Entry

Using a personal Mac likely makes this an unnecessary precaution since the risk is very low, but it’s a helpful tip if you’re using another untrusted computer or in a situation where you’d be concerned about another application capturing keystrokes.

Be warned that enabling “Secure Keyboard Entry” will interfere with most password managers and anything else that attempts to automatically type and interact with the Terminal for you.

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Posted by: William Pearson in Command Line, Mac OS X, Security, Tips & Tricks

3 Comments

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  1. Mad says:

    No Comment ? :)

  2. Kilian says:

    What about the shell history? Does that not save the entered commands as well and therefore completely kills that added security on a public mac for example?

  3. Shell history does not store entered passwords. This feature is more aimed at ensuring that passwords are not stored, than blocking access to anything displayed by Terminal. Unless you’re running all apps in sandboxes, apps will still be able to see what is on the Terminal’s screen/logs.

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