Apple has quietly launched the latest build of its Safari web browser for Mac and Windows PCs, and it finally joins the ranks of web browsers featuring in-built anti-phishing technologies.

According to ZDnet, the latest build – version 3.2 – of the Mac default web browser uses the phishing filter blacklist from Google to provide users with warnings when they're visiting suspicious sites. While Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Opera have all had this technology for quite some time this marks the first version of Safari able to make use of the Google blacklist service without modification.

As well as offering protection against phishing attacks, this latest update also introduces fixes for around a dozen security issues discovered in the code. Issues ranging from buffer overflow attacks that can lead to remote code execution to issues with viewing TIFF images that can lead to memory corruption have all been fixed by the hard-working hackers over at Apple.

Due to the wide ranging security fixes included in this release, Apple is treating it as a “highly critical” update. Users running MacOS X can update their copy via System Update, or via iTunes on Windows. Alternatively, the latest build can be downloaded directly from Apple's website.

Whether the addition of anti-phishing filters and a few security bugfixes will be enough to tempt users back from third-party browsers such as Firefox or Opera – both available in native Mac OS versions – remains to be seen. Even so, for the vast majority of Mac users who stick with the default browser, additional security and protection can only be a good thing.

Is Safari more of a contender in the browser marketplace now it's entered the 21st century at last, or does Apple still have a way to go to meet the usability and power of other browser packages? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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