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

Posted on 2005-03-08
Medium Priority
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?


Question by:AbsentMindedProf
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LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 13487520
If networking is enabled, why not.

Author Comment

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?
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.
LVL 38

Accepted Solution

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.

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