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OS X Security

Many Mac OS Users Not Getting Security Updates 380

AmiMoJo writes "According to security company Sophos, around 55% of home users and 18% of enterprise users have updated to Mavericks, the latest version of Mac OS (10.9). Unfortunately Apple appears to have stopped providing security updates for older versions. Indeed, they list Mavericks itself as a security update. This means that the majority of users are no longer getting critical security patches. Sophos recommends taking similar precautions to those recommended for people who cannot upgrade from Windows XP."
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Many Mac OS Users Not Getting Security Updates

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  • by zerosomething ( 1353609 ) on Friday January 10, 2014 @10:44AM (#45916205) Homepage
    I'm woking in a large university where you find a larger percentage of Mac and Linux systems. It's hell keeping all operating systems updated properly. Researchers get grants to do something then spend $2million on the custom systems build on a particular version of an OS. Now it's 5 years later are still using the old OS because it would cost another $1million to upgrade the custom code and get new equipment that doesn't use parallel ports for data transfers.
  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Friday January 10, 2014 @11:08AM (#45916489) Journal

    Indeed. We have a microscope that's hooked up to a G4 powermac running 10.2. The company that made the camera doesn't exist anymore, and the most recent software available for it is for XP. The solution? Firewall the microscope computer except for communication with the department file server.

  • by Sockatume ( 732728 ) on Friday January 10, 2014 @11:09AM (#45916503)

    When iOS 4 came out, you switched to Android because you wanted more software updates? Summer 2010, at the height of the Android software update panic, when Motorola had to be pressured to even update the Droid to 2.2, and most phones were lucky to see an update outside of the first six months?

    Then when you couldn't get a new version of MacOS for a five-year-old laptop, rather than just install Windows 7 on it, you bought a whole new computer?

    Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

  • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Friday January 10, 2014 @11:37AM (#45916835) Homepage
    You switched to Android because you iPhone couldn't get an update? Hope you picked the right model. Android phones have terrible track records for receiving updates. Many of them never receive an update after leaving the factory floor. People say the Nexus line of phones get better support, but I'm not sure if I believe that. The Nexus One is stuck on Gingerbread (2.3) after only being released in 2010. The Nexus S is only at 4.1, Then Galaxy Nexus is at 4.2 or 4.3 depending on the hardware revision. The only ones you can run the latest OS on are the Nexus 4 and 5, the former of which is only from late 2012. Meanwhile, in with Apple, IOS 7 is supported all the way back to the iPhone 4, which was released in early 2011.
  • Re:Does it matter? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by KingOfBLASH ( 620432 ) on Friday January 10, 2014 @11:51AM (#45917019) Journal

    The website you list is actually quite funny because it seems to reveal Apple hardware is quite well priced.

    In the mac mini, for instance, to save money he leaves out wifi, and uses an i3 instead of an i5.

    And OK maybe you won't use wifi. But you will need a keyboard and mouse and he leaves those out of the price as well.

    Or, when the 21.5" imac is listed as being very over priced he lists "Any 21.5 monitor (1920x1080)"

    IAAP (I am a Photographer) and I can tell you that the Apple screens in the iMacs are very, very high quality. To get a similar screen you'll be shelling out some money.

    For most of these models, you're paying more for the Apple brand and look, yes that's true. But in many cases that look is much smaller (compare the size of his custom iMacs -- they're HUGE!) and you get Apple support (can you just walk into an apple store with your hackintosh)?

    Of course that's all personal preference, and maybe sexy design isn't worth an extra $100 for you.

    Regarding the Mac Pro, that's been in need of a refresh for quite some time. And they're finally out!

    It would be interesting to know how much a hackintoshes for those cost : []

  • by TangoMargarine ( 1617195 ) on Friday January 10, 2014 @11:52AM (#45917039) Journal

    If it's a properly network-isolated setup, who gives a fuck how old the security is?

  • Re:Does it matter? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ILongForDarkness ( 1134931 ) on Friday January 10, 2014 @12:08PM (#45917265)

    That is the problem I find with the *nix market though (and I was a unix sys admin for several years with a Mac as my primary desktop): there is something that will work. It might be crap, it might just be a text file with no formatting it gets you 80% of the way there. It is the last 20% that keeps me using Windows (and now I'm a server side dev using MS tech): not every Windows app is great but there are 10X more of them so you can find one closer to doing exactly what you want and designed in the way that you like to work vs just having to drink the koolaid and say that product X which is one of few options on your platform is so cool because it is one of few products on your platform. Wow you really love me enough to make a program for me to use? I must love you too then :)

    It is just a market domination thing Windows for PC, and probably iOS or Android for mobile because they are the ones drawing the developers to provide a wide range of options.

  • Re:Does it matter? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 10, 2014 @12:38PM (#45917713)

    Or their new way of doing things, which is "We'll package all of the hardware up in a neat little box, which you can't open, so we can force you to upgrade the hardware in order to upgrade the OS."

    I take it you haven't seen the new Mac Pro, then. Not only can you open it, but the processor is even upgradeable. I know the product manager personally. He's been trying to move mountains in regard to changing that "new way of doing things". He is also the Mac mini product manager, and that is also evolving from the sealed box design from before his watch. Steve's gone, so things are going to change with regard to the "Steve's way or the highway" restrictions of the past product designs. BTW, who's market share grew the most last quarter in PC land? Oh yeah, Apple!

  • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Friday January 10, 2014 @01:04PM (#45918017)
    Hah. My uncle's print shop has a $20,000 laser film printer whose manufacturer folded in the early 1990s. The only drivers that work are for Windows 3.0 and Mac OS 7 (also works on 9, but not 10). So his fancy new graphics design computers send their output to an ancient Power Mac 8100 (with all of 32 MB of RAM) for printing silkscreens. It's so old that last time I visited to fix a problem he was having, the power button snapped off because the plastic had become brittle with age.

    Nice to know he's not the only one in this type of situation. Software people need to realize that constantly updating is sometimes not an option, and for certain applications (like dedicated hardware drivers) you need to treat the software like an embedded system and make it as robust as you can out the box. Software may be obsolete in 3 years, but hardware can frequently last for 25+ years. (It prints onto roll film that's about 28 inches wide for printing posters, so please don't say just buy a new printer from Staples. Replacements are currently about $2500+ for inkjet, $10k+ for laser.)
  • by BUL2294 ( 1081735 ) on Friday January 10, 2014 @03:09PM (#45919501)

    ...I dislike Microsoft and Windows with a passion, but at least they don't arbitrarily decide that your PC is too old to run their latest operating system.

    Microsoft just did this... Windows 8.1 64-bit has a requirement that your CPU (and BIOS) support the "CMPXCHG16b" instruction, which does not exist on all AMD64 processors, especially early AMD models, and some Intel ones where the manufacturer has (for some reason) disabled the instruction via BIOS--often without an explicit option to turn it on. So, those people are stuck on Windows 8.0 64-bit or need to "up/downgrade" to Windows 8.1 32-bit, which doesn't require the instruction. []

    Of course, Microsoft is setting themselves up for a lawsuit since they went on record giving Windows 8.0 a 10-year support lifecycle, which has now been changed to a ~3 years, and don't offer a free license to go from 64-bit Windows to 32-bit... Ironically, Windows Server 2012 R2 (which is 64-bit only) does not require this instruction, so there's some real confusion as to what has been gained by this requirement change...

Someday somebody has got to decide whether the typewriter is the machine, or the person who operates it.