Apple retires Snow Leopard from support, leavings 1 in 5 Macs vulnerable to attacks

“Apple on Tuesday made it clear that it will no longer patch OS X 10.6, aka Snow Leopard, when it again declined to offer a security update for the four-and-a-half-year-old operating system,” Gregg Keizer reports for Computerworld.

“As Apple issued an update for Mavericks, or OS X 10.9, as well as for its two predecessors, Mountain Lion (10.8) and Lion (10.7), Apple had nothing for Snow Leopard or its owners yesterday,” Keizer reports. “Snow Leopard was also ignored in December, when Apple patched Safari 6 and 7 for newer editions of OS X, but did not update Safari 5.1.10, the most-current Apple browser for the OS. Apple delivered the final security update for Snow Leopard in September 2013.”

“Traditionally, Apple has patched only the OS X editions designated as ‘n’ and ‘n-1’ — where ‘n’ is the newest — and discarded support for ‘n-2’ either before the launch of ‘n’ or immediately after. Under that plan, Snow Leopard was ‘n-2’ when Mountain Lion shipped in mid-2012, and by rights should have been retired around then,” Keizer reports. “But it wasn’t. Instead, Apple continued to ship security updates for Snow Leopard, and with Tuesday’s patches of Mountain Lion and Lion Tuesday, it now seems plain that Apple has shifted to supporting ‘n-2’ as well as ‘n’ and ‘n-1.’ (In that scenario, Mavericks is now ‘n,’ Mountain Lion is ‘n-1’ and Lion is ‘n-2’)… With Snow Leopard’s retirement, 1 in 5 Macs are running an operating system that could be compromised because of unpatched vulnerabilities.”

“Snow Leopard was the last version of OS X able to run applications designed for the PowerPC processor, the Apple/IBM/Motorola-crafted CPU used by Apple before it switched to Intel in 2006,” Keizer reports. “Snow Leopard, while requiring a Mac with an Intel processor, was the latest edition able to run the Rosetta translation utility, and thus launch PowerPC software.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Nothing lasts forever.


    1. Rarely access the Finder window.

      Path Finder is so much more versatile. Takes awhile to understand your options you want and get in the groove, but it facilitates quick file work.

      1. I’m also running Path Finder. Far superior to Finder.
        Worth every every penny, can’t recommend it enough.
        I have a sweet setup that lets me see full sized images and I have the Sidebar, Recents, Trash, Size and Preview enabled in the left and right drawers.

  1. Anyone use PureBasic ?
    There was a company that did a BASIC to C converter called FutureBasic , but it only works on carbon.
    To me, that’s one of the coolest ideas out there.
    Write in BASIC, use a BASIC to C converter, and it works like…
    you wrote it in C, in the first place.
    Is there an App like that for Mavericks, or has anyone used PureBasic?

  2. What hyperbolical bullshit.

    – Snow Leopard was updated 5 months ago. That’s still an extremely recent for out-of-date OS. It could still be getting once a year updates, which would be more than suffecient.

    – What vulnerability would they be patching anyway? That big “gotofail” flaw never affected Snow Leopard. They need to give at least one specific, real example of something left unpatched for the premise of this article to make any sense.

  3. Apple has no current press release, or other official communication that announces end-of-life for Snow Leopard support. No other obvious communication that would support this end of support reporting frenzy. Not that I could find, as officially sourced from Apple.

    Instead, because the Safari in Snow Leopard was not updated yesterday, every blog that repeats other blogs, rumors, or media referred sources are simply spamming the world that Snow Leopard Support has ended. Based on guessing, or at best faulty logic.

    I suspect that when this end of support for Snow Leopard becomes a reality, Apple itself will make it official. Then the supposition frenzy will end.

  4. Complete BS!

    I service a few print shops in my area that still use some older gear that still works amazing and would cost more than a car to replace. But they can’t move on from snow leopard as the drivers haven’t been updated. I know people will say it’s not apple it’s the manufacture of the gear but I disagree. I feel that apple must have a. Responsibility to its customers to follow up. With security updates for the OS the machine ships with for longer than 4 years. This isn’t good at all. Now they will have to purchase another system for Internet access as they will no longer feel safe using system critical machines online that have unmatched vulnerabilities. And I can only imagine with. Such crappy support from apple, they might choose windows as microsoft has a way better track record in this regard.

    It’s too bad. I’m an apple user and tech for years and years. Since before the first mac. But I don’t see this as good at all. They. Have. A massive staff and to just leave. So many business screwed isn’t. Good

  5. I’m still using an early 2006 15″ MBP with 10.6.8 and it still performs pretty well. That was a great OS. The best OS X ? TBD as I’ve only been using Mavericks a month or so on a newer machine. It’s had more RAM and a 500GB 7200 rpm drive in it for about 3 years and I’m toying with the idea of putting an SSD in it to speed it up some. The 1.83 GHz CoreDuo is pretty old but I think they still sell PCs with that in it? As long as you’re not doing video on it, it’s pretty good.

  6. No more vulnerable than they were,…., yesterday.

    Further, the fact that it’s running on fewer and fewer machines makes it even less vulnerable because hackers aren’t interesting in writing code that only attacks a small number of ancient machines that are being phased out by their users on a daily basis.

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