Questions tagged [virtualization]

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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278
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9answers
40k views

What makes Docker more secure than VMs or bare metal?

I recently had a discussion with a Docker expert about the security of Docker vs. virtual machines. When I told that I've read from different sources that it's easier for code running within a Docker ...
158
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9answers
138k views

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 virus ...
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13answers
18k views

Company computers for competent developers, how can you deal with them?

This is a follow up on Is there a legitimate reason I should be required to use my company’s computer. Mostly, because I see a huge issue in a couple of specific situations. Had I been in a position ...
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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 safe 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? ...
66
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3answers
32k views

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 ...
59
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7answers
7k views

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 ...
53
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2answers
8k views

If a container is compromised does that mean host also compromised?

Recently, I have heard of a new virtualization tech called containers. Suppose the container has been compromised, does this mean the host is also compromised (since the container is a process on a ...
28
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4answers
32k views

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 ...
26
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6answers
12k views

Would a VM such as Virtualbox be my best option for everyday security while working?

I run a small business out of my home and I'm not really doing anything labor intensive, no games and I'm not cutting any code or anything of that nature. A lot of what I do is phone based sales, so I'...
24
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1answer
8k views

Meltdown and Virtual Machines

This question originated from a discussion about VMs not being vulnerable to Meltdown. Can Meltdown "break out" of a virtual machine, so to speak? What is meant by this is: Can a program (with any ...
22
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2answers
2k views

How do big cloud providers guard against VM escape attacks?

I think it's pretty much unassailable to say that cloud computing as we know it depends on the concept of the robustness of virtual machines. Where one can depend on the security of VMs they allow ...
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8answers
34k views

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 ...
18
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3answers
7k 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 ...
16
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3answers
4k views

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?
16
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4answers
23k views

Replacement for DVL (Damn Vulnerable Linux)? [closed]

I've recently spotted that DVL (Damn Vulnerable Linux) has gone inactive. My first question is what happened to cause them to stop releasing it? Secondly, I have found some references to other ...
16
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6answers
3k views

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 ...
15
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5answers
2k views

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 ...
15
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2answers
2k 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, ...
15
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5answers
3k views

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 ...
15
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3answers
2k views

How long to re-seed /dev/urandom in a virtual machine?

I have read plenty about the distinction between /dev/random and /dev/urandom. I understand that the prevailing advice is to use /dev/urandom. The explanation - that 256 bits of 'proper' randomness ...
14
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3answers
6k views

Should Virtual Machines be patched for Meltdown and Spectre?

In Meltdown and Virtual Machines it was clarified that at least Spectre works crossing VMs. This of course means that the Hypervisor must be patched, but Should the VM OS be patched as well? Not ...
14
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2answers
769 views

When do shared disks “leak” data to other VMs, and how is that mitigated?

Inspired by this answer, I would like to know what are some common threats and mitigation techniques used to prevent one VM from leaking data to another via the shared storage infrastructure. ...
14
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1answer
255 views

How safely allow users to run arbitrary JVM code on a server?

I'm planning a service that will require allowing users to run arbitrary JVM code on a server. I'm planning to sandbox the code, but I know that the JVM has traditionally had security holes, which is ...
13
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1answer
8k 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?
13
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3answers
3k views

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 ...
13
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3answers
851 views

Are virtualized environments vulnerable to the Row Hammer attack?

Row Hammer is an exploit which relies on RAM defects to get unrestricted access to the RAM content, allowing to read/write otherwise protected memory and to get higher privileges on the system. To ...
12
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8answers
12k views

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 ...
12
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5answers
20k 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?
12
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1answer
722 views

Why is EC2 not vulnerable to VENOM?

I saw the advisory stating that EC2 instances are not vulnerable to VENOM. My understanding is that EC2 runs on Xen, and that VENOM affects XEN. Can anyone explain why EC2 is not vulnerable? Do ...
11
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2answers
2k views

What are the risks of antivirus exclusions for virtual machines’ files?

For performance reasons, I would like to whitelist the following files from an AV protection: .vmdk (VMWare virtual disk file); .lck (VMWare lock file for disk consistency, created in the same ...
10
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5answers
5k views

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 ...
10
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4answers
1k 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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1answer
17k views

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 it ...
10
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1answer
1k 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 ...
9
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3answers
6k views

Is a Windows XP virtual machine with no network connection safe from hacking? [duplicate]

If I install Windows XP as a Virtual Machine with no network connection, is it safe from being hacked? My main OS would be Windows 8.1 with internet.
9
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1answer
14k views

Full Disk Encryption within a VM, how secure is it?

Just a quick query on basically how to secure a VM for a home computer for a number of uses (such as securing work related data in a good enough fashion whilst in its native environment). I'm not ...
9
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3answers
19k 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" ...
9
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1answer
1k views

In VMs, do shared folders reduce security effectiveness?

VirtualBox offers the option of using shared folders, others probably offer the same thing. I am not sure whether the host is directly accessing the memory of the guest, or if there some process which ...
9
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1answer
2k views

Attacks on keys generated with low entropy

If I were to give someone a two 4096 bits keys, and say one was generated in a Linux OS with very very low entropy available, and one was generated in a Linux OS with more than enough entropy. Would ...
9
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1answer
962 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 ...
9
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2answers
3k 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 ...
8
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3answers
3k views

Can .ova file contain an exploit?

Is it possible to prepare an .ova file for Oracle Virtualbox that will access NAT network when is set to use Whonix? There are preconfigured virtual machines like Windows to use in Whonix, but are ...
8
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4answers
8k views

Is dual-booting an OS more or less secure than running a virtual machine?

I run two operating systems on two separate disk partitions on the same physical machine (a modern MacBook Pro). In order to isolate them from each other, I've taken the following steps: Configured /...
8
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3answers
1k views

How do virtual machines help security?

Can using a VM help to protect my passwords or other data? I'm asking this because I'm using a PC that others have access to, so there is possibly of some malware. I don't want to login to my web ...
8
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
8
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2answers
3k views

Can an unprivileged process in a hardware-virtualized system cause a `VMExit` without cooperation from the kernel?

For SVM or VT-x, the set of conditions which trigger a vmexit to the virtual machine monitor is pretty complex. Can an unprivileged process trigger any of these without assistance from the kernel? ...
8
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1answer
672 views

How hard is it to distinguish between remote access to a virtual machine vs a piece of hardware?

Let's say I have full access to a remote machine (specifically, root on a Linux). What is the best method to check whether this is a real piece of hardware or a virtual machine? Most of the methods ...
8
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2answers
644 views

Does Docker provide the same security as a vm [duplicate]

Does Docker provide the same level of security/isolation as a virtual machine running over a hypervisor? If not, how can that be achieved?
8
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3answers
4k 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 ...
8
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4answers
1k 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 ...