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Old 05-18-2010, 03:14 AM   #1
stryder256
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Using Linux within Windows to surf the web to avoid spyware


I would like to use Linux in a VMWare Player window within Windows 7 to circumvent spyware infections. Is this a feasable idea or should I just dual boot?

PS - Please don't flame me for using Windows lol

Last edited by stryder256; 05-18-2010 at 03:15 AM.
 
Old 05-18-2010, 03:22 AM   #2
b0uncer
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If you're confident enough to connect your Windows box to the internet in the first place, you're probably good to surf on it too. I do recommend having a firewall between you and the rest of the net, and of course some sort of anti-malware software. I don't see why running a virtualized Linux system would harm you, but it does eat up resources and may thus be a little inconvenient, but if you're ok with that, why not

I'd just skip the virtualization part and use the real thing.
 
Old 05-18-2010, 04:11 AM   #3
lunitix
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Hi there,

what you want to do has some valid concerns to it and is something reasonable that one would think.To answer your question yes you can have a virtual machine to surf the web for safety but this is a whole discussion.

Simply going with this scenario won't give you safety or security .It is what you actually do , how you actually use the net ...For example most infections come from software we download and want to try in our systems so if you download via the virtualized linux machine and install them on your Windows box ....there is no point !

You have to consider these factors as well and think of security in both systems if you finally decide to go with your plan.

There are other options though that you could do also .For example tighten security over the windows machine , log in as a user and not administrator , tighten operating system security (registry keys etc) , tighten web browser security etc etc.

There a whole world of options you need to think of !

Cheers
 
Old 05-18-2010, 04:48 AM   #4
MIJ-VI
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I find these to be useful for more secure Internet surfing:

Firefox (Web browser)

(Please download these Firefox add-ons directly from Mozilla):
Adblock Plus
NoScript
WOT (Web Of Trust)
Flagfox

--------

Another good (and free) virtual machine:
VirtualBox

Last edited by MIJ-VI; 05-18-2010 at 04:49 AM.
 
Old 05-18-2010, 04:50 AM   #5
linuxlover.chaitanya
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Using virtualization may be an option and may provide you better security than windows but getting a dual boot system would be much better. Get some live distribution like Ubuntu, Mint etc. and try them and use you feel better off. Ubuntu and Mint should be better if you have never used Linux. Both have good looks and work fine. And you can probably do most of things avoiding CLI if you are not comfortable.
 
Old 05-18-2010, 04:58 AM   #6
catkin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stryder256 View Post
I would like to use Linux in a VMWare Player window within Windows 7 to circumvent spyware infections. Is this a feasable idea or should I just dual boot?
Yes, it's perfectly feasible. The virtualisation method would be more convenient and would reduce the temptation to browse the Infernet (assuming that's what you have in mind) "just this quick once" (ha!) from Windows. But what about email? You would probably want to be able to attach/save files from/to Windows if Windows is your main working environment.
 
Old 05-18-2010, 06:17 AM   #7
brianL
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VMWare supply what you're looking for:
http://www.vmware.com/appliances/directory/80
Sorry, that link is for Linux, but the Browser Appliance is available for Windows, I think.

Last edited by brianL; 05-18-2010 at 06:23 AM.
 
Old 05-18-2010, 06:32 AM   #8
stryder256
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Thanks for all the replies, guys. I actually did install Mint on a separate partition, but found that it was really annoying to have to reboot to use the features I wanted to use in Windows, such as Voice Recognition. My ideal situation would be triple booting Windows 7, Windows XP, and Linux, but setting up a triple boot scenario looks like a big pain in the arse lol. I might need to run XP for certain outdated software using dual monitors--something Virtual machines don't support. This is actually a work computer and I intend to use it for one specific piece of hardware only occassionally, so I want to keep Windows completely free of garbage. I want to keep it running as fast as the day I got it.

I don't intend to download or install software from the web for Windows, but I was more concerned about acquiring Spyware via holes in Firefox. I was under the impression that Spyware can sometimes infect a machine simply by having the user inadvertently executing exploits while browsing an infected page. I do use Firefox, but I imagine there are holes in Firefox on a PC that would make the user vulnerable to this. In regards to open ports on a Windows machine, I was intending to use Microsoft's Firewall...perhaps I should do more than that. Maybe I should just reboot to Mint
 
Old 05-18-2010, 06:36 AM   #9
stryder256
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Brian: That looks exactly like what I'm looking for...thanks a lot!
 
Old 05-18-2010, 05:49 PM   #10
jefro
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A new system would run almost or as fast as a dual boot. I never dual boot anymore.

I am not sure anyone has proved a VM linux could make the host vulnerable (with the exception of shared folders). I consider it secure enough.

The main issue with security is that nothing on the internet should be considered secure.

If you boot to a live cd or a live usb without persistence you can be sure it can't be hacked. Just don't mount any drives while you are online. You could make a great 1G mint without persistence and never have to worry.
 
Old 05-18-2010, 06:08 PM   #11
MTK358
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Not sure if you will find this useful, but:

http://www.google.com/search?q=linux...%20recognition
 
Old 05-18-2010, 06:14 PM   #12
snowpine
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Sounds like a great idea! VirtualBox runs well in Windows, and for the choice of Linux distro, may I suggest BrowserLinux? http://browserlinux.com

Because you'll be running in "live" mode, you don't even need to create a virtual hard drive. Each time you shut down the virtual machine, the slate will be wiped clean.
 
Old 05-19-2010, 03:32 PM   #13
MIJ-VI
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Speaking of security issues and Firefox...

"...The latest example is found on the fake Firefox download site below. The page is cleverly disguised with the appearance of a legitimate Firefox download site and could easily fool many users hoping to upgrade...

http://threatcenter.blogspot.com/201...sh-adware.html
 
  


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