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Trouble report 626

Internet Explorer displays a security warning when The Panorama Factory previews a web page

Versions affected

3.0 - 4.3

Description

When you request The Panorama Factory to preview a web page, it opens in your web browser.  If you use Internet Explorer, it displays the following security warning:

To help protect your security, Internet Explorer has restricted this file from showing active content that could access your computer.

Microsoft added this warning message with Windows XP Service Pack 2.

The logic behind this warning is that active content (Javascript, ActiveX, Java, etc.) in a web page has more freedom when run from a web page in a local file. Web pages downloaded from an internet web site run in a more restricted security zone that prevents many potential malicious actions. However, the local security zone is less restrictive than the internet security zone. So according to Microsoft, local web pages are more dangerous than internet web pages!

Workaround

The workaround is to use the Mark of the Web to force local web pages to run in the internet security zone. This restricts them in the same way as if they were downloaded from an internet web site.

To add the Mark of the Web to a web page, just add this line at the top of the HTML file:

<!-- saved from url=(0014)about:internet -->

Note: The HTML comment must be properly formatted for Internet Explorer to parse the information correctly. Proper format includes inserting a space immediately following the opening delimiter " <!-- " and just before the closing delimiter " --> ".

This workaround does not compromise security in any way. On the contrary, the effect is to lock down the local web page to the same security level as a page downloaded from the internet. Because this increases the security for the local page, Internet Explorer does not need to show the warning message.

In order to avoid having to edit every HTML file generated by The Panorama Factory, you may add this line to the top of each HTML file in The Panorama Factory's template folder. This folder is typically:

c:\Program Files\Smoky City Design\The Panorama Factory V4\Templates

Thereafter, each HTML file created by The Panorama Factory will automatically include the Mark of the Web.

Status

Corrected in V4.4 by adding the Mark of the Web to all templates supplied with the product.


Revised: August 22, 2006

 1999-2006 Smoky City Design, LLC and John Strait