Apple has issued an important Java security update for Java SE 6, intended to improve overall security and reliability. The update, called Java for OS X 2013-005, is available for OS X 10.6.8 or later, and replaces all previous versions of the Java 6 plugin found on any Mac it is installed on.
From the release notes:
About Java for OS X 2013-005
Java for OS X 2013-005 delivers improved security, reliability, and compatibility for Java SE 6. Java for OS X 2013-005 supersedes all previous versions of Java for OS X.
This release updates the Apple-provided system Java SE 6 to version 1.6.0_65 and is for OS X versions 10.7 or later.
This update uninstalls the Apple-provided Java applet plug-in from all web browsers. To use applets on a web page, click on the region labeled “Missing plug-in” to go download the latest version of the Java applet plug-in from Oracle.
For information about the security content of this update, please visit this website:
Java has been a significant security stumbling block on Macs for years, playing host to numerous security threats that cause Apple to forcibly disable the plugin on all Macs from time to time for security purposes (examples: 1, 2, 3, 4, and many more). Among the more notable Java-related threats was the infamous Flashback trojan that affected hundreds of thousands of Macs, and a Zero Day exploit that affected literally billions of Macs and PCs. Some people have even opted to remove Java from their Macs entirely as a result.
The update is available now in two versions – one for OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8, and one for OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, and is available through Software Update on all eligible Macs.