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Can a virus break out of a Virtual PC to infect the host PC?

Posted on 2005-03-08
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Last Modified: 2013-12-04
For example:

Say I have a virtual PC running using Microsoft Virtual PC.
Say I run an infected EXE file on that virtual PC
Is it possible that that virus could "see" beyond the virtual PC and try to infect the host PC?

Thanks
AMP

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Question by:AbsentMindedProf
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 13487520
If networking is enabled, why not.
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by:AbsentMindedProf
ID: 13488124
How about if networking is disabled?  Can it write directly to the HD?  Does Virtual PC allow this?  

Can a program run on a virtual machine be "aware" that it is being run on a virtual PC and not on an actual PC?

WOuld this question be better suited to the "Apps" section rather than WinXP/Security?
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LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 13488183
If there is no networking and you're using VIRTUAL hard drives, I would think you're safe.  To be sure, always run an antivirus software, but I'd THINK you'd be safe.  BUT, VPC does (if I remember correctly) have the ability to use a hard disk directly IF YOU TELL IT TO.  So if you did that, then I'd think you could be in trouble.
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Accepted Solution

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Rich Rumble earned 375 total points
ID: 13489177
VMware an the many others out there, now allow the actual HD to be accessed- however the program would not be able to launch if networking was disabled- unless the file was copied to the actual HD, and then someone using that PC ran it.
These mapped drives that the vitrual pc uses to write to a specified share on the local (non virtual) hd of the host aren't much different than any other mapped drives.
-rich
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