Is there a way to hide a key (i.e. a wifi WPA key password) from being listed in Keychain Access but still have OS X be able to use it? We're a school and we we don't want users to be able to access keychain and see the WPA key of the wifi password.

It doesn't even have to be hidden as long as the user can't get access to being shown the password.

  • 1
    Have you tried just storing the key in the system keychain and not handing the users administrative accounts? That way they won't be able to show the key - but the system can still access it at boot time to join the network. – bmike Dec 6 '12 at 2:29
  • Just out of curiosity: What's the point in trying to keep the WiFi password from being seen by students? One will eventually find out and spread it. (Technically I seconds bmike's suggestion. My own experience says “Don't try to fight your users, you'll loose.”.) – MacLemon Dec 6 '12 at 11:12

My first idea is to use Parental Controls to restrict access to Keychain Access:

System Preferences > Parental Controls > Add the account that will be used > Apps > Limit Applications > Check all the boxes except Utilities > Keychain Access

If you need the users to be able to open Keychain Access (For example, to manage their own keychains), you can set up the login keychain so that it doesn't unlock automatically and allow/require end users to create and use non-login keychains. To set the login keychain so it doesn't automatically unlock, open /Applications/Utilities/Keychain Access, go to Preferences > First Aid, and uncheck the last three checkboxes, "Synchronize login keychain password with account", "Set login keychain as default" and "Keep login keychain unlocked".

Neither of these are exactly what you're asking, but should solve the problem.

  • Unless Terminal and AppleScript Editor are also blocked (and the users aren't allowed to install applications), they could just use security. – Lri Dec 6 '12 at 15:48

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