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Apple launched a new security feature for its Safari web browser that allows Java applet loading permissions on a web-site-specific basis.

The feature is in Safari 6.0.4, which is a software update for Lion and Mountain Lion users, and in Safari 5.1.9 for Snow Leopard, which is available for direct download (about 48MB) and via Apple’s software update service.

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The new feature will prompt Safari to ask users what to do with each newly encountered Java applet.

A new setting allows users to permanently block or permanently allow applets, or trigger confirmation requests, on a web-site-specific basis. When “allowing” applets, users can either choose “always allow” or they can allow applets only if the installed version of Java contains no known critical security issues.

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Safari 6.0.4 also closes a security hole in WebKit used during this year’s Pwn2Own security competition.

Apple also released two new Java updates that correspond to Oracle’s Java 7 Update 21. Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 15 (just under 70MB) updates Java SE 6 under Snow Leopard to version 1.6.0_45 and enables the previously mentioned security feature in Safari 5.1.9.

Java for OS X 2013-003 is for Lion and Mountain Lion, where it also updates Java SE 6 to version 1.6.0_45. The Java updates close numerous security holes, including critical ones – and users should install it as soon as possible.

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