Apple brings Safari to Windows: with added security vulnerabilities


will.jpgWill Head writes…

So the surprise part in Steve Jobs keynote at WWDC, the bit where he catches everyone unaware and reveals something new, was that the Safari web browser is coming to Windows.

The bit he neglected to mention was that it also comes with the nasty security vulnerabilities you’d expect to find in Windows software – you know the kind of things that let bad people do naughty stuff to your machine without you knowing.

Now, you could say that it’s not Safari’s fault that Windows lets all this badware run in the first place, but that’s shifting the blame a bit. It’s like blaming the security guard for being asleep during a burglary rather than the person that didn’t lock up properly and left door wide open.

The most worrying part is the speed with which the problems were discovered. Thor Larholm claims to have found a bug in just two hours, while David Maynor apparently discovered six in an afternoon.

Of course, Internet Explorer hasn’t been without its problems when it comes to security holes, but Microsoft seems to have acknowledged its shortcomings and set about trying to resolve them with version seven. If Apple is serious about capturing a portion of the browser market, then it has to address these issues quickly – there’s not exactly a shortage of options for surfing the web out there.

Unless, perhaps, it’s just a ploy to show that OS X is more secure than Windows. By demonstrating how easy it is to write applications that threaten Window’s security maybe Apple is hoping to tempt users over to its platform where this sort of thing supposedly doesn’t happen. It’ll be interesting to see how it responds to the reported issues now that they’re out there.

Will Head