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On an up-to-date OS X computer with FileVault 2 (whole-disk encryption, minus the recovery partition), is any security gained by setting a firmware password, as well?

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A recent question about Thunderbolt vulnerabilities covered some of the same ground. Can someone who finds it please link it in? – adric Aug 29 '12 at 21:36
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The firmware password adds very little value to the protection of your device. There have already been published loopholes for either:

  1. Resetting the firmware password
  2. Nullifying it completely

On several versions of the Mac OS. The FileVault encryption will be sufficient for protecting your information.

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The firmware password can easily (this is documented) be reset if you have socketed RAM modules. If the only RAM on your Mac is soldered to the logic board that procedure becomes a lot harder. (Not necessarily impossible, but I haven't yet hat a chance to try this by desoldering a few RAM chips from a current MacBook (Pro|Air).) – MacLemon Nov 23 '12 at 16:52
Very interesting. – Daniel Li Nov 29 '12 at 1:35

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