Apple patches Leopard, despite ending support last year

Apple has issued a Flashback patch for the Leopard OS, despite ending support for OS X 10.5 in September.

Apple patches Leopard, despite ending support last year

The Flashback malware started making the rounds at the beginning of the year, but Apple was slower to issue a patch than other software makers, leaving Macs the main target. Security experts suggested as many as 600,000 Macs were infected.

Apple last month issued a patch for 10.6 and 10.7, Snow Leopard and Lion, but has also now offered a solution for those still using the two-year-old Leopard.

“This update removes the most common variants of the Flashback malware,” the update notification says. “If the Flashback malware is found, a dialog will notify you that malware was removed.”

The update will also disable Java plugin for Safari to mitigate the effects of the Flashback attack.

Net Applications’ latest figures show OS X 10.6 and OS X 10.7 make up more than eight in ten Mac installations, while 12% are using 10.5.

Graham Cluley, technology consultant at security firm Sophos, applauded Apple for issuing the update.

“It’s encouraging to see Apple has not left users of this older version of the Mac OS X operating system completely out in the cold when it comes to protecting against the latest threats,” he said in a blog post.

“Clearly it realises that it’s not good for the Apple Mac’s image if older computers connected to the internet are harbouring malware that could cause problems for others in the Mac community.”

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