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Thread: A question about security

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Beans
    156

    A question about security

    Hi,

    I am running win xp professional through virtualbox on hardy. i have win xp sp2 installed. usually, i would also install a virus scanner and zonelabs firewall.

    i was just wondering, is this necessary for virturalization? i would rather not because it eats up my RAM. is there a danger, for example, that someone will hack into my windows, then hack into my ubuntu through the shared folder which shows up as a network?

    in that face, i was thinking they would be able to change any settings or documents they want, since no sudo permissions exist in windows. is this a threat? i would really, really prefer not to install zonelabs and a virus scan.

    if it helps, i have firestarter installed on hardy.

    thanks,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    UK
    Beans
    145
    Distro
    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: A question about security

    You don't need to install firewalls or anti-virus s/w on Windows if you have configured your virtual machine to have no network card. Attacks then have to come through your secure Ubuntu OS first.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Beans
    75

    Re: A question about security

    Quote Originally Posted by akimatsu123 View Post
    is there a danger, for example, that someone will hack into my windows, then hack into my ubuntu through the shared folder which shows up as a network?
    Is there a danger? Yes. Is it very likely? No.

    A virtual Windows machine can still be compromised. I run both a firewall and anti-virus on my virtual Windows machine. However, whether you need that depends on your risk assessment. Most likely a compromise to the Windows system won't result in a compromise to the Ubuntu host. Someone who compromises your Windows system would most likely use it to send spam or engage in further internet attacks. So you should think about what you use the Windows system for, does it have any valuable data, if it were compromised would it be easier to just start fresh than to constantly deal with securing Windows and similar issues.

    One great thing about virtualization is that you can always keep extra disk images. So if you have a system you know is clean you can make a backup and if the one you run becomes compromised just copy from the backup and secure whatever caused the compromise.

    There's also some middle ground, like relying on the Windows XP firewall and setting your virus scanner to its fastest settings. I haven't used ZoneAlarm in a while; I gave it up because it was too bloated and there are plenty of alternatives.

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