With the release of OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard two years ago, the release of OS X 10.7 Lion last year, and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion coming sometime later this summer, nobody thinks much anymore about older versions of the Mac operating system. For the most part, OS X 10.5 Leopard has been put out to pasture. Apparently, however, the recent kerfluffle over the Flashback malware targeted at Macs has drawn Apple’s eye back to the abandoned OS.
Late yesterday Apple pushed out updates to OS X Leopard that included several Flashback-related security fixes. First and foremost, the update includes Apple’s Flashback removal tool, which “removes the most common variants of the Flashback malware.” Second, an update to Safari turns off the browser’s Java plugin, thus closing the vulnerability that was allowing Flashback to install on users’ computers. Of course, for Leopard users who feel like living on the edge, there are instructions for turning it back on. Finally, the update now disables outdated versions of Adobe Flash Player, pointing users to Adobe’s website so they can download the most up-to-date (i.e., most secure) version of Flash Player.
Now, if you’re a Leopard user who hasn’t gotten these updates yet, go ahead and fire up Software Update and get them. But you probably shouldn’t get too used to having Apple throw updates your way. With Moutain Lion coming soon, Leopard is about to be three full generations behind, which means that Apple isn’t likely to pay it much attention unless there’s another major malware outbreak.