Microsoft urges Windows users to shut down Safari

June 1, 2008 – 10:05 AM

In an unusual move, Microsoft Corp. on Friday warned Windows users to swear off Apple Inc.’s Safari Web browser until a patch is available that plugs holes that could let attackers to compromise computers.

One security researcher noted that Microsoft’s public warning — and Apple’s silence on the subject — are typical for the two rivals and illustrate their different approaches to security.

Friday, the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) issued a security advisory for what it called a “blended threat” caused by combination of a bug in Apple’s Safari Web browser and a vulnerability in how Windows XP and Windows Vista handle executable files placed on the desktop.

“Microsoft is investigating new public reports of a blended threat that allows remote code execution on all supported versions of Windows XP and Windows Vista when Apple’s Safari for Windows has been installed,” said the advisory.

The Safari bug Microsoft referred to is the same one disclosed two weeks ago by researcher Nitesh Dhanjani, which Apple declined to treat as a security issue, said Andrew Storms, director of security operations at nCircle Network Security Inc. “Clearly, that’s what they’re talking about,” said Storms.

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