After hacker dissection, Safari beta is patched

Apple has released an update to its Safari 3 browser, patching three security flaws

Three days after releasing Safari 3.0, Apple has issued its first patch of the beta software.

The 3.0.1 update, released early Thursday morning, fixes three flaws in the browser including bugs that were discovered earlier this week by researchers Thor Larholm and Aviv Raff.

Apple released the 3.0 beta on Monday, and hackers started digging up bugs within hours. In fact, some researchers suggested that Apple should have done a better job of checking the browser for vulnerabilities before releasing the beta code.

But even Apple's critics give the company credit for pushing out a quick update to its browser.

"Let's give Apple a round of applause for the quick response," wrote researcher Tom Ferris on his blog Thursday. He says he's discovered 10 vulnerabilities in the browser.

Earlier this week, Ferris said that Apple had done a "horrible" job of testing the Safari beta for bugs, prior to its initial release.

Larholm agreed that the quick update was a good sign. "I want to congratulate Apple for fixing a serious security vulnerability in such a short time frame," he wrote in a blog posting. "Their usual response time can be counted in weeks to months."

This is the first time that Apple has released a version of Safari for the Windows platform. Because it now can be run on a much larger number of systems, the code has been getting more attention from the security community.

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Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
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