Apple launches Safari 5, patches record 48 bugs
Fixes flaw in browser that hacker team exploited at Pwn2Own to win $15,000
Computerworld - Apple on Monday shipped the latest version of its Safari browser, patching a record 48 vulnerabilities, including one that a pair of hackers exploited in March to win a $15,000 prize.
The new browser debuted the same day as Apple unveiled the iPhone 4 at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference.
Safari 5, the first major upgrade to the Mac OS X and Windows browser in a year, fixed four dozen flaws, most of them in WebKit, the open-source engine that powers not only Apple's browser but also Google's Chrome. Apple also updated the previous edition to version 4.1 on Monday.
Among the 48 vulnerabilities was the one used by the two-man team of Vincenzo Iozzo and Ralf-Philipp Weinmann to hack an Apple iPhone 3GS in five minutes at the Pwn2Own contest last March, said Aaron Portnoy, security research team lead with HP TippingPoint. TippingPoint's 's Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) bug-bounty program paid the two researcher $15,000 -- a record amount for the four-year-old Pwn2Own -- for the Safari bug and exploit they used to break into the iPhone.
The Iozzo/Weinmann vulnerability was in WebKit, which is also the foundation of the stripped-down Safari browser Apple builds into the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.
Although Apple patched the bug in Safari 5 and 4.1 for Mac and Windows this week, it has not yet addressed the issue in its mobile devices. Presumably, Apple will do that with iOS4, the operating system upgrade slated to launch for the iPhone and iPod Touch June 21, and later this year for the iPad.
Portnoy said he was sure Apple would patch the vulnerability in the iPhone -- after all, that's where Iozzo and Weinmann exploited it for their Pwn2Own victory -- but admitted he had no idea when it would do so. "Apple is pretty secretive," said Portnoy.
Apple also dealt with a Windows-only bug that Polish researcher Krystian Kloskowski revealed a month ago. That vulnerability could be exploited by attackers simply by tricking users into visiting a malicious Web site.
Apple's advisory labeled 27 of the 48 vulnerabilities, or 56% of the total, with the company's "arbitrary code execution" phrase, meaning the flaws are critical and could be exploited to compromise a Mac or a Windows machine. Unlike other vendors, notably Microsoft, Apple does not rank the bugs it discloses. Seven of the bugs were cross-site scripting vulnerabilities that could be used by identity thieves.
Because Google's Chrome also relies on WebKit -- and like Safari is available on both the Mac and Windows -- it shouldn't come as a surprise that a number of the bugs fixed in Safari 5 and 4.1 were discovered by security engineers at Apple's rival. Google received credit for 25% of the vulnerabilities, double the percentage when Apple last patched Safari, in mid-March.
WWDC claim exposed: Apple Safari 5 isn't fastest
By comparison, Apple was credited with finding with only four flaws, or 8% of the total.
Safari is currently the world's No. 4 browser, accounting for a 4.8% share of the global browser usage market last month. The bulk of Safari usage is on the Mac; just 0.3 percentage point of Safari's total share came from the Windows version in May.
Safari 5 can be downloaded from Apple's site for Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard), Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. Mac OS X users will be notified of the new version automatically by the operating system's software update feature, while Windows users already running Safari will be alerted by the Apple Software Update tool.
Apple also released Safari 4.1 for Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger).
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 5 reasons to upgrade to Apple's Safari 5
- Apple launches Safari 5, patches record 48 bugs
- iPhone 4, iOS 4 offer deeper enterprise support
- Apple's iPhone 4 is a pentaband phone
- Hands on with Apple's new iPhone 4
- AT&T's account site crumbles under iPhone owner load
- 'One more thing' ... iPhone 4 gets FaceTime video chat
- Image gallery: iPhone 4 up close
- Apple unveils iPhone 4, touts 'FaceTime' video chat
- What to expect from Apple and Steve Jobs at WWDC
Read more about Desktop Apps in Computerworld's Desktop Apps Topic Center.
- Silicon Valley's 19 Coolest Places to Work
- Is Windows 8 Development Worth the Trouble?
- 8 Books Every IT Leader Should Read This Year
- 10 Hot Hadoop Startups to Watch
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Gartner Magic Quadrant for Client Management Tools The client management tool market is maturing and evolving to adapt to consumerization, desktop virtualization, and an ongoing need to improve efficiency.
- Infographic: Converged Infrastructure Benefits This Infographic quantifies the savings organizations are realizing from increased deployment speed, higher availability, and lower annual costs.
- CIOs Deliver Productivity Breakthroughs with Intelligent Digital Signage Retailers have long recognized the influence that digital signage provides over a shopper's point-of-purchase decision making process.
- Going Paperless? Here's What You Need to Think About As makers of some of the world's most popular PDF solutions, we often consult with businesses & governmental agencies that have the goal...
- Top 4 Digital Signage Fails Join RMG Networks for a look at four of the most common reasons digital signage fails in corporate businesses. Learn about strategies to...
- Building Tomorrow's Infrastructure Listen to this podcast to discover how Crider Foods worked with PC Connection to update their IT infrastructure, while maintaining compliance and control. All Desktop Apps White Papers | Webcasts