Is it a security risk using a old version of a program or application ?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by max2, Jun 16, 2018.

  1. max2 macrumors 68030

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  2. posguy99 macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    The age has zero to do with whether or not it's a security risk all by itself. Why would it?

    Now... later versions exist for a reason. Sometimes they add new features. Sometimes they fix bugs. Sometimes the bugs they fix are security bugs.
     
  3. max2 thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #3
    Does this include all programs ?
     
  4. dwig macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    If the old app connects to the outside world (e.g. Internet) then there may well be security issues.
     
  5. max2 thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #5
    It doesn't
     
  6. Altis macrumors 68030

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    #6
    Depends entirely on what it is and how old.

    I wouldn't use a web browser or banking app that was several years old, but a text editor shouldn't be a problem. :p
     
  7. NoBoMac Moderator

    NoBoMac

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    #7
    To echo what others have said, for example, old versions of Microsoft Office have security issues where Word documents, Excel spreadsheets can carry a payload that will exploit a security issue with the program. Adobe Flash has similar issues. And Java.

    So, the program might not be connecting to the internet, but if you are feeding it data/files from the internet, old programs might be vulnerable.

    Probably a lesser chance of issue, but still out there, depending on the program, peripheral software being used by a program (eg. open source libraries, Python, Perl, etc) that might get installed by the program might have vulnerabilities, depending on when the program was built, to what versions of things, etc.
     
  8. Partron22 macrumors 68020

    Partron22

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    #8
    I'd use WriteNow, from the 80's, right now, if I could make it work on my newer Macs.
    Anything old that connects to the outside world, even if it's 'just' to check for updates represents some danger.
    I draw the line at browsers.
     
  9. Tech198 macrumors G5

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    #9
    I'm still on Firefox 56.0.2 . It really depends how you use it as well. which website you go do.. Luckily i have never got bit. I hate the new Firefox framework in 57 for add-on management.. (WebExtentions)

    plus any time i update Lastpass app, they break something else.
     
  10. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

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    #10
    "All programs" is pretty general, and no one can say for sure that some un-named program has security issues -- or no problems of any kind.
    Maybe you could offer a short list of apps that you use, and that might be affected by security or compatibility issues (compatibility might be more important, eh?)
     
  11. Partron22 macrumors 68020

    Partron22

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    #11
    Yeah that's probably alright yet. I was referring to browsers that'll still run on OS 10.5 and the like. 13 year old internet software is not going to give a safe experience.
     
  12. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68040

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    #12
    The bigger risk is running an old OS in order to run those older apps. If an old app can run on a newer OS you'll be exposed to less risk, since OS vulnerabilities tend to extend well beyond those of a particular app.
     
  13. Partron22 macrumors 68020

    Partron22

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    #13
    Yes, assuming the bad guys are still exploiting ancient holes.
    I don't allow anything lower than 10.10 Yosemite on my WiFi.
    At the moment the oldest OS on the network is Sierra. That should be good for at least a couple years of security updates.
    File XFers to old Macs are via USB, or disk copy.
    You don't have to dump older Macs, but you do have to start moving them away from being connected to an ISP 24/7.
    They then make good places to keep stuff that actually is confidential.
     

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12 June 16, 2018