Windows XP forum: running a VM for increased security of an iffy system

by: danneauxs October 25, 2012 2:02 AM PDT

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running a VM for increased security of an iffy system

by danneauxs - 10/25/12 2:02 AM

Hello,
I run an XP machine and I like it. I also like to play with Linux and until it died I kept a linux only machine in the house. That machine was locked and only used to tinker with linux (have to learn somehow) and for secure surfing - banking, shopping etc.

I also run a VM linux on my XP machine. Since others use this computer I'm leery of security problems. I have virus software, realtime protection, and a malware scanner and I poke around to make sure nothing I don't know about has been added to the web browser.

Unfortunately, without my linux machine I feel exposed. I use a LIVE linux whenever I have to surf securely but rebooting is a pain. (and no switching over to Linux full time isn't going to happen any time soon) A VM Linux is much easier and faster but I have a question.

Will a compromised host system mean a compromised VM? This seems to be one of those questions that would seem obvious to a knowledgeable person but really isn't to me. I can see the answer going both ways since I don't have enough information. I assume there is some level of insulation but is there really? I mean I think a compromised browser on the host system wouldn't effect the VM browser but see right there I could be wrong.

I guess the thing that got me thinking about it was something like a key logger. I don't really know WHAT can get me besides common general knowledge. Like in RL I know not to drink bleach but might be unaware of some chemical I've never heard of polluting my drinking water ( ok bad analogy but you get my point.)

I'm especially thinking that a light weight VM Linux would be a nice think to set up for people like my parents so they can be safe shopping or banking online. Plus they'd be more likely do USE such a security measure if it was a simple click or two to initiate it rather than a complete reboot.

TIA
Danneauxs

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