Virtualization is the creation of a virtual (rather than actual) version of something, such as an operating system, a server, a storage device or network resources.

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How secure are virtual machines really? False sense of security?

I was reading this CompTIA Security+ SYO-201 book, and the author David Prowse claims that: Whichever VM you select, the VM cannot cross the software boundaries set in place. For example, a ...
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5answers
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Is it safe to install malware in a VM

Is it safe to install malware in virtual machines? I would like to investigate malware, but I don't want to infect my own computer. Can I install the malware in a VMWare VM, maybe even without ...
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4answers
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Does a Virtual Machine stop malware from doing harm?

I would like to know if it is save for the host system of a virtual machine (VM - VirtualBox OSE in my case) to execute malware. Can a virus break out and read or write data from the host system? ...
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3answers
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Is it appropriate to use haveged as a source of entropy on virtual machines?

While looking for solutions to entropy pool depletion on virtual machines, I came across an interesting project called haveged, which is based on the HAVEGE algorithm (HArdware Volatile Entropy ...
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3answers
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Can a guest virtual machine be compromised by a virus on the host machine?

All questions ask about the other way round, ie. can a virtual machine compromise the host. But I'm asking can a virus on the host machine compromise the guest virtual machine?
14
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5answers
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Is a VM only as secure as its host?

Question If one installs a VM with "high security" on a host machine with "low security", will the VM be only as secure as the machine it's installed on, or will the high-security aspects from the VM ...
13
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5answers
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Are there ways to protect the guest kernels at the hypervisor level?

Let's say I have a linux guest running in xen and I want xen to check the integrity of the guest kernel so that I know there aren't any rootkits, or similar, active. Is there a way to accomplish this ...
12
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6answers
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Securely building a local pentest lab in a VM

I'd like to set up OWASP WebGoat or a similar vulnerable web app in a VM (probably VirtualBox on Linux). For convenience's sake, I'd like to get it running on one of the primary machines I use (say, a ...
12
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2answers
893 views

Protection of Keys/Passwords on Virtual Hardware (XEN, KVM, VMWare, etc.)

Is there any reasonable way to secure data on virtual hardware? What I mean by "virtual hardware" is the various hosted systems that one can rent from various online hosters, that run on top of XEN, ...
11
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8answers
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How anonymous is my setup?

my friend and I are trying to make the most anonymous setup for a computer to do things across the internet without being known the location from which it came. Our setup is as follows: A windows ...
10
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4answers
795 views

Source code security

We have about 20 developers working in a heterogeneous environment, mostly using company laptops or desktops. We run Windows 7 on desktops/laptops and a mixture of Linux distros (Ubuntu/CentOS). ...
10
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3answers
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Can a hypervisor rootkit enable hardware-assisted virtualization when it has been disabled by the BIOS?

I was recently reading An Introduction to Hardware-Assisted Virtual Machine (HVM) Rootkits (PDF), and it wasn't entirely clear about the conditions under which the hypervisor rootkit can start ...
10
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1answer
215 views

Where does a Hyper-V guest get its entropy when generating a certificate authority key pair?

According to findings by the EFF's SSL observatory, there are "tens of thousands of keys that offer effectively no security due to weak random number generation algorithm." My understanding of that ...
8
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4answers
5k views

How to detect hosts running in virtual machines with nmap?

I have to determine if a given subnet has virtual hosts. Are there any ideas about what switches to use?
8
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1answer
2k views

What is Virtual Machine Introspection?

I have seen it presented as a special security technique but it seems like it basically means automated security monitoring of your virtual environment. Is that the basic idea?
7
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6answers
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Is it safe to use virtual machines when examining malware?

We want to study for the CEH program and have downloaded 12 DVDs that 6 DVDs are software key-loggers, Trojans, etc. that are all detected by antivirus. This prevents us from examining them and ...
7
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4answers
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What do I need to configure, to make sure my software uses /dev/urandom?

When setting up a server, what configuration changes do I need to make sure that all of the software uses /dev/urandom instead of /dev/random? Some servers don't have much entropy in the entropy pool ...
7
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3answers
799 views

How does a root kit work inside a virtual machine?

In my class, we are discussing virtual machine based root kits. I've research root kits, but could not find any information specifically talking about how root kits work inside of virtual machines ...
7
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1answer
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How to ensure that VirtualBox guests can't break out of the vm to get access to the host machine? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How secure are virtual machines really? False sense of security? E.g. on Ubuntu/Fedora - if I have VirtualBox installed and I'm running guests in it, then how can I make ...
7
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1answer
989 views

How isolated are files on a VirtualBox virtual machine from the host filesystem?

When transferring ownership of a computer from one party to another, it's advisable to perform steps to clean out personal data from the hard drive. Depending on needs, the type of data, and/or level ...
7
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2answers
1k views

Breaking out of a strict linux sandbox running virtually under windows: do the linux-sandbox access control policies even matter?

I am developing an application which will run untrusted code. I have been designing it for linux, thinking that I can just run it in a virtual machine on windows when the need arises. The linux ...
7
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1answer
187 views

Can virtual machines be used to isolate vulnerable software?

I have had a look at most of the previous questions about virtual machines (VMs) and they all appear to be focused on hosting malware in the VM and preventing it breaking out of the VM. What I can’t ...
6
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4answers
492 views

Would running VMs inside of VMs be a more secure way to study viruses, etc?

I was reading this post on SuperUser, and it made me wonder about security. I've read somewhere else that some viruses/malware/whatever CAN break outside of a VM... and then infect the host OS. BUT, ...
6
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5answers
549 views

VM hypervisior that doesn't leak that it's a VM to the guest?

I need a VM Hypervisor that will not leak to the guest that its in a VM. The guest should believe its on a full physical machine. Apparently VirtualBox fails at this, along with Virtual PC and ...
6
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3answers
454 views

Virtualization as a layer of security for desktop computers?

Given the amount of 3rd party plugins required to browse the web, I've been compelled to virtualize my online habits to gain an additional layer of security. There is of course some obvious ...
6
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4answers
760 views

if the hypervisor is hacked are all guests affected as well?

I'm guessing that all guests would be screwed, if the hypervisor is hacked. I found this article, but it seems to be more focused on privilege escalation of guests. I'm more interested to hear about ...
6
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2answers
220 views

Firewall on a VM

I know I could use a software firewall on the guest to achieve a situation similar to this, but is there a way to emulate a firewall (protecting multiple Guests) between a host and guests on a ...
6
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1answer
1k views

Is it safe to use rng-tools on a virtual machine?

I am currently working on an app that needs to create GPG key pairs using the gpg tool. Unfortunately, this tool takes a long time to generate a key pair if there is insufficient entropy/randomness ...
6
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2answers
1k views

Is BitLocker on a virtual machine still FIPS 140-2 compliant?

BitLocker can be used as a cryptographic module to fulfill FIPS 140-2 security level 1 compliance. In a common setup, USB thumb drives can be used to unlock drives encrypted by BitLocker on startup. ...
6
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2answers
542 views

Exactly how secure is VM browsing?

I generally do all of my web browsing in a VM. I have one "safe" VM running Ubuntu that has guest services installed. I generally only go to sites I deem are trustworthy here. I also have an "unsafe" ...
6
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1answer
162 views

Are the Trends of Type II Hypervisors and Newer Applications a Security Issue?

It seems that every time I have a new 'binge' at using the likes of VirtualBox or VMWare (the Type II version), they've introduced even more high-level features, often ones that remove layers between ...
6
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1answer
227 views

How does virtualisation (IaaS) protect from CPU microcode updates and firmware changes?

Is it safe to assume that it's impossible for CPU Microcode updates and firmware updates to be initiated from a guest VM? What software or hardware technologies protect my guest OS from altering or ...
5
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3answers
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Is there a way to identify the host of a malicious VM from across the network?

Scenario: Someone is attacking your network. However, they're not exactly using their machine to do it - they're using a VM running on their system. The VM's network adapter is configured in ...
5
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3answers
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vt-d Virtualisation and Trusted Execution Technology

Being a long time VirtualBox user and having recently purchased a new laptop equipped with an intel i7 720QM I discovered that it supported vt-d. In the meantime I've found out that vt-d comes with ...
5
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2answers
103 views

Does RNG play a role in PGP signing?

We have a Jenkins system that builds and PGP-signs software releases, and we are considering moving the signing component to an isolated VM instead of running it as part of the overall builder ...
5
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4answers
742 views

In this case, does Virtualization gives more security?

A: running an OpenBSD machine with a httpd and a smtp server? vs. B: running an OpenBSD machine as virtualization host with QEMU having two guest OpenBSD system: one for smtp and one for httpd. ...
5
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4answers
2k views

Obtaining the IP address of a virtual machine to use Metasploit

I am beginning to learn Metasploit and, to play safe, am practicing it out on a virtual machine. The target machine, which is a virtual machine, is under NATing. How do I access it/ connect to it- ...
5
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3answers
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Designing a Sandbox for Windows

I am thinking about the design for a sandbox, which is able to execute arbitrary unmodified, untrusted binaries. The goal is to implement an application Unlike something like e.g. Google Chrome's ...
5
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1answer
4k views

VirtualBox Pen Test Lab Setup

So i'm trying to set up a pen test lab in virtual box on my windows 7 host. I have 3 guest OS's installed: 1.) BackTrack5 2.) Centos 5 Server/Snort (My Snortbox) 3.) Win XP (Unpatched) I have 3 ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Memory Dumping - Cause for concern in Virtualization?

Recently, I started exploring threats to Virtual machines in general. The first question that popped into my head was whether a host machine can dump its entire memory onto a file, and inspect the ...
5
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1answer
678 views

Setting up home lab with Snort and Vyatta - looking for resource recommendations or advice

I'm looking to turn a new desktop (Ubuntu 12.10-64bit) I built into a virtual home lab for testing and experimenting with various security things. The first setup I would like to try running is the ...
5
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2answers
459 views

Segmenting Virtual Network Traffic

I have a basic to moderate understanding of VLAN's and their pros and cons as they relate to network segmentation but I'm wondering where to start as one moves into virtualized environments. From a ...
5
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2answers
143 views

CTF competitions/challenges that are Windows based?

I've been messing about in CTF's for a while and I also do pen-testing professionally, what i've noticed is a distinct lack of CTF competitions using windows environments. This is in stark contrast ...
4
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5answers
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Am I safe if I run untrusted applications inside a Virtual Machine [duplicate]

I have some untrusted software. I plan to run them on a guest Windows 7 on my host Windows 8 OS using Oracle VirtualBox. In the worst case, will only my guest OS be affected? Can the hacker access ...
4
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2answers
2k views

Can a kernel exploit compromise an OpenVZ host?

as openvz runs a a lot of virtual servers. i wonder how kernel-exploits could affect the whole system. would it be possible to break out of a "virtual machine" with a kernel-exploit on openvz??? ...
4
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3answers
342 views

What are the security precautions taken to ensure a virtualized domain can't compromise its host

I recently started learning about xen and became more interested in visualization. I read a few whitepapers, did a search here, but couldn't find an answer. My guess is someone will link me to some ...
4
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4answers
393 views

Is packet sniffing a risk on VPS? If so, what precautions should I ask my host if they take?

I'm wondering if packet sniffing is a risk on my VPS. Is it always a risk or are their precautions a host vendor can take? e.g. a switched network etc. If I wanted to ask my host what precautions ...
4
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1answer
127 views

How to secure application VM?

This question is derived from my previous question on Isolating Web application where two approaches were recommended. Apache Chroot Jail Isolation through Virtualization My question is if one of ...
4
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1answer
2k views

Physical machines not detected from a Backtrack VM

Some time back I asked about using metasploit on a virtual machine here. This question is a kind of 'part 2' of it. My test bed set up consists of 3 physical machines: A, B and C. Each of them have ...
4
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1answer
453 views

Is it possible to detect host-machine of my virtual-machines?

So basically I need to know is there any way to find a connection (or relation) between packets sent by my VMs and my host machine. In my lab I have lots of workstations, each running a VirtualBox ...