The EncryptedLocalStore class (ELS) provides
an encrypted local storage mechanism that you can be use as a small
cache for an application's private data. ELS data cannot be shared
between applications. The intent of ELS is to allow an application
to store easily recreated items such as login credentials and other private
information. ELS data should not be considered as permanent, as outlined
in "Limitations of the encrypted local store" and "Best practices,"
You may want to use the encrypted local store to cache information
that must be secured, such as login credentials for web services.
The ELS is appropriate for storing information that must be kept
private from other users. It does not, however, protect the data
from other processes run under the same user account. It is thus
not appropriate for protecting secret application data, such as DRM
or encryption keys.
platforms, AIR uses DPAPI on Windows, KeyChain on Mac OS and iOS, and
KeyRing or KWallet on Linux to associate the encrypted local store
to each application and user. The encrypted local store uses AES-CBC
On Android, the data stored by the EncryptedLocalStorage class
are not encrypted. Instead the data is protected by the user-level
security provided by the operating system. The Android operating
system assigns every application a separate user ID. Applications
can only access their own files and files created in public locations
(such as the removable storage card). Note that on “rooted” Android
devices, applications running with root privileges CAN access the
files of other applications. Thus on a rooted device, the encrypted
local store does not provide as high a level of data protection
as it does on on a non-rooted device.
Information in the encrypted local store is only available to
AIR application content in the application security sandbox.
If you update an AIR application, the updated version retains
access to any existing data in the encrypted local store unless:
Limitations of the encrypted local store
data in the encrypted local store is protected by the user’s operating
system account credentials. Other entities cannot access the data
in the store unless they can login as that user. However, the data
is not secure against access by other applications run by an authenticated
Because the user must be authenticated for these attacks
to work, the user’s private data is still protected (unless the
user account itself is compromised). However, data that your application
may want to keep secret from users, such as keys used for licensing
or digital rights management, is not secure. Thus the ELS is not
an appropriate location for storing such information. It is only
an appropriate place for storing a user’s private data, such as
Data in the ELS can be lost for a variety of reasons.
For example, the user could uninstall the application and delete
the encrypted file. Or, the publisher ID could be changed as a result
of an update. Thus the ELS should be treated as a private cache,
not a permanent data storage.
The stronglyBound parameter
is deprecated and should not be set to true. Setting
the parameter to true does not provide any additional
protection for data. At the same time, access to the data is lost
whenever the application is updated — even if the publisher ID stays
The encrypted local store may perform more slowly
if the stored data exceeds 10MB.
When you uninstall an AIR
application, the uninstaller does not delete data stored in the
encrypted local store.
practices for using the ELS include:
Use the ELS to
store sensitive user data such as passwords (setting stronglyBound
Do not use the ELS to store applications secrets such as
DRM keys or licensing tokens.
Provide a way for your application to recreate the data stored
in the ELS if the ELS data is lost. For example, by prompting the
user to re-enter their account credentials when necessary.
Do not use the stronglyBound parameter.
If you do set stronglyBound to true,
do not migrate stored items during an update. Recreate the data
after the update instead.
Only store relatively small amounts of data. For larger amounts
of data, use an AIR SQL database with encryption.
Adding data to the encrypted local store
Use the setItem() static method of the
EncryptedLocalStore class to store data in the local store. The
data is stored in a hash table, using strings as keys, with the
data stored as byte arrays.
For example, the following code stores a string in the encrypted
var str:String = "Bob";
var bytes:ByteArray = new ByteArray();
third parameter of the setItem() method, the stronglyBound parameter,
is optional. When this parameter is set to true,
the encrypted local store binds the stored item to the storing AIR
application’s digital signature and bits:
var str:String = "Bob";
var bytes:ByteArray = new ByteArray();
EncryptedLocalStore.setItem("firstName", bytes, false);
For an item that is stored with stronglyBound set
to true, subsequent calls to getItem() only
succeed if the calling AIR application is identical to the storing
application (if no data in files in the application directory have
changed). If the calling AIR application is different from the storing
application, the application throws an Error exception when you
call getItem() for a strongly bound item. If you
update your application, it will not be able to read strongly bound data
previously written to the encrypted local store. Setting stronglyBound to true on
mobile devices is ignored; the parameter is always treated as false.
If the stronglyBound parameter is set to false (the
default), only the publisher ID needs to stay the same for the application
to read the data. The bits of the application may change (and they
need to be signed by the same publisher), but they do not need to
be the exact same bits as were in application that stored the data.
Updated applications with the same publisher ID as the original
can continue to access the data.
Note: In practice, setting stronglyBound to true does
not add any additional data protection. A “malicious” user could
still alter an application to gain access to items stored in the
ELS. Furthermore, data is protected from external, non-user threats
just as strongly whether stronglyBound is set to true or false.
For these reasons, setting stronglyBound to true is