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

posguy99

macrumors 65816
Nov 3, 2004
1,269
713
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.
 

max2

macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 31, 2015
3,514
756
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.
Does this include all programs ?
 

Altis

macrumors 68030
Sep 10, 2013
2,986
4,480
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
 

NoBoMac

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 1, 2014
2,881
1,207
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.
 

Partron22

macrumors 68030
Apr 13, 2011
2,579
760
Yes
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.
 

Tech198

macrumors Pentium
Mar 21, 2011
15,055
1,956
Australia, Perth
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.
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.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,450
2,780
Delaware
Does this include all programs ?
"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?)
 

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
3,759
2,336
Between the coasts
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.
 
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Partron22

macrumors 68030
Apr 13, 2011
2,579
760
Yes
running an old OS
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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