Flash Decompilers – Boon or Bane?

The other day I had to utilize a demo version of a Flash decompiler to make a change to a Flash file I had worked on when I first began working here at DDA over a year ago. The decompiler takes a Flash .swf file and extracts all the animation and art assets, creating an editable .fla file for easy changing/extracting. The version I used doesn’t extract ActionScript, though, I guess to partially protect security. Luckily, I didn’t have any real complicated ActionScript so it was pretty easy to recreate.

Flash Decompilers have been around for a while, but this is my first time using one. I am really kind of blown away at how easy it was, which bothers me a bit. Most people don’t put any security on their Flash items, so if someone can download or save your .swf, they can extract all of your animation and art assets at the push of a button. It’s really easy, and very free. It  makes me think about adding some security to Flash files in the future.