Viruses and Security Q's

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by sae, Nov 17, 2007.

  1. sae

    sae

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    8
    Thread was moved from "General Discussions > Website and Forum Discussions".
    Stacey M


    Hello,

    I am currently a PC user that is looking to switch to a mac. I do have some windows programs that I will still have to run (MS Office, Photoshop 7, AutoCad 2000). I am currently looking at my options to running these programs and Parallels, Fusion and Crossover by CodeWeavers.

    My question has to do with sharing files between Parallels and my Microsoft VM. I do not want to have some files stored on my windows VM and some stored on my mac. What I was thinking of doing is networking my /users folder on my mac and changing my default settings of the "my documents" location in my VM to the networked /user folder on the mac. The problem I have with this is that if my VM gets infected then the virus could easily spread to the mac files.

    Is this a concern for anyone? Do you all still sleep good at night knowing that your windows VM has access to your mac files?

    Thanks for your thoughts!

    P.S. Separate question...does parallels have student discount?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 3, 2007
  2. Eru Ithildur

    Eru Ithildur

    Messages:
    1,954
    Think about BootCamp as well. Seeing you run PS 7 and AutoCad, I would recommend either using BC or BC tied to virtualization.
     
  3. sae

    sae

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    That is the plan if I go parallels or fusion - if I go with crossover then I would probably also do BC and then I can use my external harddrive to "transfer" files between mac and PC

    From what I understand both parallels and fusion work good with BC.

    Thanks for the response Eru.
     
  4. Eru Ithildur

    Eru Ithildur

    Messages:
    1,954
    Yep, they work pretty well with BC. Just don't run Leopard yet.
     
  5. sae

    sae

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    Well I will be buying a new mac, so it will come with Leopard.

    What about my original question about opening up the mac files to windows. Is anyone concerned about this? It seems like a stupid idea in principal.
     
  6. Eru Ithildur

    Eru Ithildur

    Messages:
    1,954
    Well, there is some concern about this, you can always turn off communication between the two OSes if it is an issue to you.
     
  7. sae

    sae

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    Is it possible to turn off the internet to the windows side but still allow networking access?

    If this is not possible at the software level then I suppose I could always assign another ip address to my windows install and then block the internet to that ip address on my router, but this is messier.
     
  8. gegervision

    gegervision

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    185
    I run full Adobe CS3 in my VM without any issues. Runs fast. I also some other PC apps with extremely heavy CPU and Memory usage without issue.

    I only share my documents between OSX and Guest OS. If you open it up more and you get infected on the PC side, I believe, you are leaving yourself very vulnerable if you open up the entire disk.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2007
  9. sae

    sae

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    8
    so your windows VM can access your mac files or is it the other way around?
     
  10. gegervision

    gegervision

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    185
    Yes...both can access each others files depending on the Security level you have setup when you Edit your VM. High, Medium-High or Medium. Medium being the highest integration of Mac and Guest OS file. Also depends in which folders you share. I chose only to share my documents.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2007
  11. Eru Ithildur

    Eru Ithildur

    Messages:
    1,954
    Sure, just configure your ipfw daemon on OS X to block access to the external world to the IP which Windows has.

    However you set it.
     
  12. sae

    sae

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    8
    ok...so what is the worse that could happen if you get a hack/virus on your windows side and it propagates to the mac side? (assuming of course that the hack/virus does nothing in mac OS)

    Also, does windows/parallels run all the time or only when you are using windows programs (when in coherence mode)?
     
  13. Eru Ithildur

    Eru Ithildur

    Messages:
    1,954
    Worst case scenario, your Windows XP VM gets screwed over, because of the shared folders, anything that Windows has access to can be deleted. So whatever access you give it to is potential data loss in the case of a good 'ol virus. Same goes for datamining.

    Parallels/Windows runs whenever you have that particular VM started in Parallels. No, it doesn't run the background (this was actually a request at one point, by Leukai I believe).
     
  14. sae

    sae

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    8
    thanks a lot for all the responses so far!

    Another question...when using smartselect to open a file does parallels have to start the VM, start windows and then start the corresponding program before the file will be displayed?
     
  15. gegervision

    gegervision

    Messages:
    185
    In order to open a file which requires your VM (i.e.- smartselect) Parallels has to be running in order to open the associated application. If Parallels is not already running it'll automatically start once the Guest Application is requested.
     
  16. sae

    sae

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    8
    ok, cool. so about how long does that take?
     
  17. gegervision

    gegervision

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    185
    It all depends on the speed of your machine. Mine typically takes about 1 minute max to start Parallels, the Guest OS and then the application.
     
  18. Eru Ithildur

    Eru Ithildur

    Messages:
    1,954
    The length of time depends upon the state of your VM and the speed of your machine.

    If it is open, it is pretty much instant.
    If it is paused, a couple seconds.
    If it is suspended, with a slower machine it can be two minutes, a faster optimized machine, usually less than 30 seconds.
    If it is shut down, a slower machine can be 3 minutes, a faster machine, usually less than a minute.

    e.g. I can come from a suspend on my MBP in ~15 seconds. On my XServe it is about 5.
     
  19. bick4d

    bick4d

    Messages:
    14
    Virus Protection

    When I open a file that is looking for software that resides in XP on the Parallels Virtual Machine a window displays on the lower right warning me about possible virus threats due to my not having any virus protection installed in XP of the PVM.

    I hope I don't have to install a Mcafee or such just to protect the XP residing in the PVM.

    I ignor this warning because I never plan to do any emailing or internet connecting from XP within PVM. I simply send it to the Mac from a PC running XP and bring the file into the VM to work on it where the same MS software resides and then send it back to the Mac's desktop where I drag it into the Mac based Entourage email program to send it out and vice versa. This seems to avoid the threat of virus infection from email and I have no need to use Internet Explorer since I use Safari.

    Problem that I forsee is not being able to upgrade the software ( MS Projects ) I am using withing XP residing in PVM or upgrade XP itself.
    Comments ?
    Sorry for long winded explanation.
    Thanks
     

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