can a malicious software running in Parallels Desktop gain access to OS X?

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by MacMan988, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    MacMan988

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    #1
    Hi, I'm a bit worried about having to install Windows in parallels regarding the computer security. Is parallels runs in a sandbox environment? If theres a software running in windows on parallels and stealing data, will it be able to access my data store in the OS X ? (Documents directory, Music etc?)

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    Unless you go through very specific, deliberate steps to enable it, no Windows application can write on your OS X partition, and no Windows app, including malware, can run in OS X.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MacMan988

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
  4. throAU, Jul 30, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2013

    macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #4
    Maybe.

    There are exploits to get out of the hypervisor for some versions of other hypervisors.


    Though the likelihood is very very low.

    https://ng.techweb.com/authds/gatew...virtualization-vulnerability-allows/240001996

    Given the track record Parallels has had with regards to performance vs stability (it's faster than vmware but has had previous data corruption bugs) i wouldn't rule it out.

    Again though, very very unlikely, and i doubt someone who's capable of writing such an exploit would bother to target parallels on mac, the number of targets is simply too low.

    More info:
    http://blogs.gartner.com/neil_macdonald/2011/01/26/yes-hypervisors-are-vulnerable/

    Again.... not likely.
     
  5. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    #5
    Any malware may have access to your personal files:
    - By default (It may depend on the version), Parallel will share your Mac home folder with Windows.
    - This is with read/write access.

    This "feature" can be deactivated in the configuration of your VM ("Options" / "Sharing").

    EDIT: For security reasons, you can disable everything in the "sharing" settings (look also in the "security" settings).
     
  6. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #6

    That's good to know.

    Likelihood of cross infection is pretty low (Mac won't generally run PC malware) though.
     

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