Safari from Apple, is a graphical web browser, which is an inherent part of the Mac OS X operating system. Safari is principally the native browser in the iOS also. Safari was originally introduced in 2003 as a public beta version, slowly becoming the default browser in all Macs. The Microsoft Windows version of Safari was released in the year 2007. In the rankings of most widely used browsers in the US, Safari stands 4th in the line of following including Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.
After Safari 1.0 in 2003, Safari 2.0 in 2005, Safari 3.0 in 2007, Safari 4.0 in 2008, Safari 5 was released in mid 2010. Apple has brought about a very interesting change in browsing in Safari. Some of the interesting features include Bookmark Integration with the address book, Web Page Clips Saving to the Apple Dashboard, flexible search box in the tool bar for Google, Yahoo! or Bing, private browsing, support for HTML 5, support for Transport Layer Security, Document Object Model Inspector of Web Pages and many others.
Security vise the PWN2OWN contest of 2008, CanSecWest Security conference, in Vancouver, brought about the weaknesses in Safari. The Safari was the first to fall in the hacking competition with the successful exploit of the same, bringing the Mac OS as the first OS to fail. This flaw exposed by the contest was duly patched, taking care of other vulnerabilities also in the Safari 3.1.1 update.
PWN2OWN 2009 also brought about the fall of the Safari and Apple introduced the 3.2.3 patch to take care of the exploits. In the PWN2OWN 2010 contest, again the Safari fell first before the Internet Explorer, the iPhone, the Nokia and then the Mozilla Firefox. The 2011 PWN2OWN again, the Safari was the first to fall in the contest.
In fact, after the November 2010 patch of Safari, by Apple fixing 27 flaws, to the new version of the Safari was introduced only in June 2010, the Safari 5 saw its biggest update and patch recently. Apple introduced a new patch covering 62 bugs, just before the PWN2OWN contest vide Safari 5.0.4. This patch covered mainly vulnerabilities in the Webkit engine of the browser. For information the Webkit engine powers the Google Chrome also. Besides the Webkit vulnerabilities several non-security issues were also addressed.
Even if the Safari proved itself to be, about the fastest of browsers, and the prime choice of many a user, a French hacker managed to break the brand new Safari 5.0.4 in barely five seconds. The 5.0.4 update was released only a few minutes before the competition. The next to fall was the Internet Explorer 8. Although the contest predefined which versions of browsers were eligible to be tested at the contest, hackers have managed to break through even later versions of browser releases.