Controlling outbound URL access

Flash Player 9 and later, Adobe AIR 1.0 and later

Outbound scripting and URL access (through the use of HTTP URLs, mailto: and so on) are achieved through use of the following APIs:

  • The flash.system.fscommand() function

  • The ExternalInterface.call() method

  • The flash.net.navigateToURL() function

For content loaded from the local file system, calls to these methods are successful only if the code and the containing web page (if there is one) are in the local-trusted or AIR application security sandboxes. Calls to these methods fail if the content is in the local-with-networking or local-with-filesystem sandbox.

For content that is not loaded locally, all of these APIs can communicate with the web page in which they are embedded, depending on the value of the AllowScriptAccess parameter described below. The flash.net.navigateToURL() function has the additional ability to communicate with any open browser window or frame, not just the page in which the SWF file is embedded. For more information on this functionality, see Using the navigateToURL() function.

The AllowScriptAccess parameter in the HTML code that loads a SWF file controls the ability to perform outbound URL access from within the SWF file. Set this parameter inside the PARAM or EMBED tag. If no value is set for AllowScriptAccess, the SWF file and the HTML page can communicate only if both are from the same domain.

The AllowScriptAccess parameter can have one of three possible values: "always", "sameDomain", or "never".
  • When AllowScriptAccess is "always", the SWF file can communicate with the HTML page in which it is embedded even when the SWF file is from a different domain than the HTML page.

  • When AllowScriptAccess is "sameDomain", the SWF file can communicate with the HTML page in which it is embedded only when the SWF file is from the same domain as the HTML page. This value is the default value for AllowScriptAccess. Use this setting, or do not set a value for AllowScriptAccess, to prevent a SWF file hosted from one domain from accessing a script in an HTML page that comes from another domain.

  • When AllowScriptAccess is "never", the SWF file cannot communicate with any HTML page. Using this value has been deprecated since the release of Adobe Flash CS4 Professional. It is not recommended and shouldn’t be necessary if you don’t serve untrusted SWF files from your own domain. If you do need to serve untrusted SWF files, Adobe recommends that you create a distinct subdomain and place all untrusted content there.

Here is an example of setting the AllowScriptAccess tag in an HTML page to allow outbound URL access to a different domain:

<object id='MyMovie.swf' classid='clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000' codebase='http://download.adobe.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,0,0' height='100%' width='100%'> 
<param name='AllowScriptAccess' value='always'/> 
<param name='src' value=''MyMovie.swf'/> 
<embed name='MyMovie.swf' pluginspage='http://www.adobe.com/go/getflashplayer' src='MyMovie.swf' height='100%' width='100%' AllowScriptAccess='never'/> 
</object> 

Using the navigateToURL() function

In addition to the security setting specified by the allowScriptAccess parameter discussed above, the navigateToURL() function has an optional second parameter - target. The target parameter can be used to specify the name of an HTML window or frame to send the URL request to. Additional security restrictions apply to such requests, and the restrictions vary depending on whether navigateToURL() is being used as a scripting or non-scripting statement.

For scripting statements, such as navigateToURL("javascript: alert('Hello from Flash Player.')"), the following rules apply.

  • If the SWF file is a locally trusted file, the request succeeds.

  • If the target is the HTML page in which the SWF file is embedded, the allowScriptAccess rules described above apply.

  • If the target holds content loaded from the same domain as the SWF file, the request succeeds.

  • If the target holds content loaded from a different domain than the SWF file, and neither of the previous two conditions is met, the request fails.

For non-scripting statements (such as HTTP, HTTPS, and mailto:, the request fails if all of the following conditions apply:

  • The target is one of the special keywords "_top" or "_parent", and

  • the SWF file is in a web page hosted from a different domain, and

  • the SWF file is embedded with a value for allowScriptAccess that is not "always".

For more information

For more information on outbound URL access, see the following entries in the ActionScript 3.0 Reference for the Adobe Flash Platform: