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Author: Robert Clements | Website: http://www.thepuma.co.uk

Security and Flash


Protecting from Importation and Debugging

By protecting your SWF file, you not only restrict the theft of your material, from importing the SWF, but you also make it almost impossible to debug.  The protection feature on flash 5 is extremely useful both locally and remotely (Via the Internet). 

This feature of flash 5 can be applied easily to any movie. 

With the FLA file saved, go to the file menu and click publish settings. 

Unless you have previously published your movie, you should see the HTML and Flash boxes selected.  At the top of the publish window you will see several tabs, beginning formats and continuing with all the formats you selected. 

With Flash (SWF) selected on the formats tab, navigate to the Flash tab.  The first box on the tab is loading information.  Below this are 4 check boxes.  We are concerned with the bottom two.

Check both ‘Protect from import’ and ‘Debugging permit’. 

Now the Password text box becomes writeable.  Enter your password and click publish. 

Lastly test the SWF file produced by attempting to import and debug it. 


Security - Server Side only!

In case you were not aware, to date, there is no way to make a SWF file SECURE.  Whether you have built a password gate or an e-mail form, a hacker will always find a way to open or access the pages.  The weakness is ‘Client Side’.  Any password or URL stored in a SWF movie ‘Client Side’ will be accessible and usually with out any special tools or techniques. 

I once built a password gate and went to great lengths to make it secure in the swf.  I hid the SWF file in directories and made sure there was no index of it in the root folder.  The URL I was protecting was extremely long, containing words with no relevance.  I looped the frame, before the pass frame, to the beginning, so it couldn’t be accessed by simply forwarding the movie.  There was no way a remote user could access it, unless they dug the copy out of their internet files and viewed it in note pad.  Amongst the symbols, the URL of my protected page could clearly be seen. 

This was on a client side relationship.  Obviously if the password and URL were stored server side, it would have been much more secure.  PHP, ASP and Perl can all be used ‘Server Side’ with a flash front. 

So the only way to make your content secure in a flash movie is to work Server Side. 




» Level Intermediate

Added: 2002-01-02
Rating: 6 Votes: 36
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» Author
Young but experienced flash designer.
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