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Stay Away From Safari Browser Warns Microsoft

Microsoft has released a formal warning to Safari users and urged them to stop using Apple's web browser until the company comes up with a patch to close the vulnerability which affects all versions of Windows XP and Vista.

The Microsoft advisory (opens in new tab) describes how the blended attack could potentially affect millions of Windows Safari Users.

According to Secunia, the issue is caused by a combination of processes related to the default download location in Safari and the way Windows desktop handles executable files.

By default, Safari doesn't request user intervention when it comes to downloads, something which Nitesh Dhanjani, an independent security researcher said could lead to a "carpet bombing" attack with hackers specifically targeting Safari users.

Should the computer user visit a malicious website and download any compromising file, the flaw could potentially allow a hacker to remotely execute malware and take control of the host computer.

One temporary solution would be to set the download section in Safari to something other than "Desktop" while other observers have already called for users to dump Safari and use alternative browsers until a patched version is released.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.