Feeds

Security researchers poke holes in Safari

Hot Fuzz

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Security hunters have discovered numerous bugs in a Windows version of Safari, hours after Apple released a beta version of the browser into the wild.

Both Windows and Mac OS X versions of Safari 3 were released at a developer conference in San Francisco on Monday as part of Apple's plans to grow its market share from 4.9 per cent. Apple chief exec Steve Jobs described Safari as "the fastest browser on Windows", claiming that it runs twice as fast as IE.

Pay back

Apple has adopted an antagonistic relationship with security researchers, particularly over recent months, so it's perhaps no surprise that white-hat hackers have been working overtime to unearth bugs in the firm's browser software.

Claims on the Safari download page that "Apple engineers designed Safari to be secure from day one" further motivated hackers to attempt to pee on Apple's parade - efforts that have not been in vain.

David Maynor, who's best known for discovering an infamous Wi-Fi hack of Apple machines running third-party drivers, has already discovered four denial of service (ie crashing) and two remote code execution bugs with the software. "Not bad for an afternoon of idle fuzzing," Maynor writes. "One of the bugs found in the beta copy of Safari on Windows works on the production copy of OSX as well," he adds.

Maynor and Apple are not on speaking terms in the aftermath of an unsavoury row that erupted after Maynor's presentation of Wi-Fi hacks at last year's Black Hat briefings. Apple is accused of helping to spread disinformation about Maynor and Jon "Johnny Cache" Ellch's methodology in a bid to discredit their research.

And there's more

Separately, security researcher Thor Larholm has uncovered a URL protocol handler command injection vulnerability that creates a means to inject hostile code onto Windows systems running beta versions of the browser software. "I now have a fully functional command execution vulnerability, triggered without user interaction simply by visiting a website," Larholm writes.

Another security researcher, Aviv Raff, discovered another potentially exploitable memory corruption bug after pounding Safari with fuzzing tools.

As previously reported, users of the beta software on localised versions of Windows are also having problems. Safari is apt to crash for these users when loading bookmarks, for example. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
Jihadi terrorists DIDN'T encrypt their comms 'cos of Snowden leaks
Intel bods' analysis concludes 'no significant change' after whistle was blown
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.