Apple re-patches patch to stop Safari crashes

Mimics Microsoft, which has also had to answer for browser breakdown

Apple Inc. matched a Microsoft Corp. move last week by reissuing a security update to fix its Safari browser, which began crashing while loading certain Web sites after users installed the first draft of the patch.

Friday, Apple re-released Security Update 2007-009 as Version 1.1 to put Safari right, confirming that the initial update, which the company unveiled on Dec. 17, had broken the browser. "Security Update 2007-009 v1.1 addresses an issue introduced in Security Update 2007-009 that may cause Safari to unexpectedly quit when browsing to certain Web sites," Apple said in the advisory accompanying the update.

Users began reporting a wide range of crash problems with Safari on Apple's support forums almost immediately after 2007-009 was issued. Many claimed that the browser crashed whenever they tried to access banking and other financial sites, for example.

"When I click on a PayPal 'add to cart' button, Safari automatically crashes every time," wrote a user identified as JJ81 last Tuesday. "This has only started happening when I installed the latest update."

"I find that Safari has been crashing in general a lot more," replied jules771. "Any kind of button pushing on my end usually produces a crash."

Unlike Microsoft, which was bombarded with complaints from users about Internet Explorer 6 crashing on Windows XP SP2 after a Dec. 11 security update, Apple did not publicly confirm the Safari problem prior to re-releasing 2007-009. Microsoft, however, has not re-issued its buggy update, as has Apple, but instead has only posted a work-around thus far.

Apple also revised an update to the Windows version of Safari to patch that edition for the same problem. Safari 3 Beta 3.0.4 Security Update 1.1 installs over the earlier fix issued Monday, Apple said, and "addresses an issue ... that causes an unexpected termination of the Safari application when browsing to certain Web sites," according to an e-mailed advisory.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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