Safari is a graphical web browser developed by Apple Inc. and included as part of the Mac OS X operating system, another product of Apple. First released as a public beta on Jan/7/ 2003 on the company's Mac OS X operating system, it became Apple's default browser beginning with Mac OS X v10.3 "Panther". Safari is also the native browser for the iOS. A version of Safari for the Microsoft Windows operating system, first released on June 11, 2007, supports Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. The latest stable release of the browser is 5.0.2, which is available as a free download for both Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows. As of 2010, Safari is the fourth most widely used browser, following Google Chrome.
An earlier version of Apple Software Update (bundled with Safari, QuickTime, and iTunes for Microsoft Windows) selected Safari for installation from a list of Apple programs to download by default, even when a pre-existing installation of Safari was not detected on a user's machine. John Lilly, the CEO of Mozilla, stated that Apple's use of its updating software to promote its other products was "a bad practice and should stop." He argued that the practice "borders on malware distribution practices" and "undermines the trust that [software companies are] all trying to build with users." Apple spokesman Bill Evans responded to Lilly's statement, saying that Apple was only "using Software Update to make it easy and convenient for both Mac and Windows users to get the latest Safari update from Apple."Apple also released a new version of Apple Software Update that puts new software in its own section, though still selected for installation by default. In a newer update, Apple Software Update no longer selected new installation items in the new software section by default (as of late 2008).
On September 22, 2009, Apple once again checked "Install Safari 4" as a default setting with their update to iTunes v9.0.1. As of September 30, 2009, Safari is not a pre-selected application in Apple Software Update when it is not already installed.
In the PWN2OWN contest at the 2008 CanSecWest security conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, a successful exploit of Safari caused Mac OS X to be the first OS to fall in a hacking competition. Participants competed to find a way to read the contents of a file located on the user's desktop, in one of three operating systems: Mac OS X Leopard, Windows Vista SP1, and Ubuntu 7.10. On the second day of the contest, when users were allowed to physically interact with the computers (the prior day permitted only network attacks), Charlie Miller compromised Mac OS X through an unpatched vulnerability of the PCRE library used by Safari. Miller had been aware of the flaw prior to the beginning of the conference and worked to exploit it unannounced, as is the common approach in these contests.The exploited vulnerability was patched in Safari 3.1.1, among other flaws.
In the 2009 PWN2OWN contest, Charlie Miller performed another successful exploit of Safari to hack into a Mac. Miller again acknowledged that he had advance knowledge of the security flaw prior to the competition, and had done considerable research and preparation work on the exploit, which is the common approach to such contests.Apple released a patch for this exploit and others on May 12, 2009 in Safari 3.2.3.
Software license agreement
The original software license agreement for Safari on Windows was unusually restrictive for several months,reading in part:
This License allows you to install and use one copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-labeled computer at a time.
As most personal computers running Windows are not Apple-labeled computers, it was impossible for most Windows users to use the software and abide by the license agreement, with the exception of Intel-based Mac computers running Windows. Within hours of the story breaking about the long-unnoticed anomaly, Apple changed the agreement as posted on their website to read:
This license allows you to install and use one copy of the Apple Software on each computer owned or controlled by you.
However, the Safari installer was not immediately updated and still contained the old license. Later installers include corrected copies of the license.