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Re: Security and dual booting/running in VM Windows and Linux

On Mon, 4 Oct 2010 18:59:36 +0200
Simon Brandmair <sbrandmair@gmx.net> wrote:

> > In the very least, a Windows rootkit or virus could potentially
> > mess up your partition table, or the master boot record; but there
> > are certainly other equally risky scenarious that other list
> > memebers will most certainly come up with. So the answer to your
> > question is definitely "yes".  
> Other scenario: Windows rootkit -> mount linux partitions -> replace
> some binaries/kernel/libs of your Linux installation -> compromised
> Linux system
> Cheers,
> Simon

Well, as I agree that the scenario you describe could happen, the
likelihood is very low.

Most malware these days is out to make money, in some shape or form,
mostly via copying/keyloging passwords et al or blackmailware (eg, some
stuff will lock/encrypt your data and make you pay to get it back - I
have heard of at least one piece of software that will do this), or
scamware (eg, fake anti virus applications).

And for the most part, targeting linux with these kinds of malware,
would be a waste of time, mostly due to a limited end user market, in
comparison with windows (Most stuff is social engineering these days,
with limited numbers of real remote or local exploits, it would be no
more difficult to make someone download and click on a rouge .deb
compared to a rouge .exe).

Having Windows on a computer and using due care and diligence with
booted into it, or in a VM does not make a computer any more or less
safe for the most part.

I suppose having more than one OS does increase the attack surface of a
machine, but with restrictive firewalls, and a good hosts file [1], and
a decent anti virus on the windows side (booo hiss) [2] you can be just
as secure.

If you can avoid using windows, it helps, sure, but at the same time,
for home use, if someone is computer literate enough to understand the
idea of dual booting or using a VM, I am sure they would understand
basic browsing safety precautions.

I apologise for the wall of text, I have spent the day doing
paperwork, so have found myself in a verbose mood.

[1] http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm

[2] http://www.avast.com/en-gb/index or


Angus Hedger

Debian GNU/Linux User	PGP Public Key 0xEE6A4B97

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