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


    Jul 7, 2012
    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


    May 16, 2008
    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


    Jul 7, 2012
    Thank you for the reply.
  4. throAU, Jul 30, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2013

    macrumors 68030

    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia

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

    Though the likelihood is very very low.

    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:

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

    Jun 13, 2013
    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

    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia

    That's good to know.

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

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