Research and musings on malware and other facets of computer and online security
Friday, September 7, 2012
Is Apple Still Releasing Snow Leopard Updates?
Is Apple still releasing security updates for Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard? Oddly, the answer isn't a simple yes or no.
In the past, Apple typically released security updates only for the current and one previous version of OS X. However, Apple recently switched from a roughly two-year OS cycle to a yearly cycle, and this may or many not have changed how long Apple will continue releasing security updates for previous versions of its desktop operating system.
UPDATE, 7 Jan 2013: Net Applications has released its Web traffic analytics for December 2012, which indicate that Snow Leopard accounts for just over 29% of Web traffic from Macs—slightly higher than Lion which accounts for just over 28%. Both are only slightly behind Mountain Lion at just over 32%. The percentages are roughly the same when filtering for Macs browsing with Safari.
Given the apparently high percentage of Mac users still browsing Web sites on Snow Leopard, in my opinion it is inexcusable for Apple to no longer release security updates for the Snow Leopard version of Safari. At the very least, Apple should warn these users (and Windows Safari users) that their browser is no longer being updated and is no longer safe to use online.
the JoshMeister (Joshua Long) is a computer security researcher from Southern California. He has a Master of Information Technology degree concentrating in Internet Security, and he has also taken doctorate-level coursework studying Business Administration and Computer and Information Security.
For nearly two decades, Josh has been reporting spam, phishing scams, malicious or infected sites, and undetected malware samples to help protect others online.
To contact Josh, simply leave a comment on this site; all comments are moderated, so you can leave a private message this way. For confidentiality, you may encrypt your message with Josh's PGP key.