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Anyone here like to test malware in a virtual machine?

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Anyone here like to test malware in a virtual machine?

Unread postby Random American » December 27th, 2020, 5:42 pm

Hello

While I'm hardly a malware expert, I do have experience with dealing with (and removing) malware. I also try to examine some forms of malware in virtual-box as a hobby. While it's obviously not the safest thing to do with my computer, I do enjoy doing it. Anyone else here use virtual machines to test malware or like to play around with virtual machines in general?
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Re: Anyone here like to test malware in a virtual machine?

Unread postby mAL_rEm018 » January 6th, 2021, 6:09 pm

Hello Random American,

Random American wrote:While it's obviously not the safest thing to do with my computer, I do enjoy doing it.

As someone who has analyzed malware samples in the past, I would advise against playing with malware if you don't know what you're doing. Safely playing with infections requires quite a bit of preparation and should not be done on your main computer (even with the use of a virtual machine). This is because some malicious programs have been known to not only infect virtual machines but to also infect the computer itself. Malware is always unpredictable and playing with it can easily backfire if you don't know what you're doing.
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Re: Anyone here like to test malware in a virtual machine?

Unread postby Random American » January 7th, 2021, 3:19 pm

mAL_rEm018 wrote:Hello Random American,

Random American wrote:While it's obviously not the safest thing to do with my computer, I do enjoy doing it.

As someone who has analyzed malware samples in the past, I would advise against playing with malware if you don't know what you're doing. Safely playing with infections requires quite a bit of preparation and should not be done on your main computer (even with the use of a virtual machine). This is because some malicious programs have been known to not only infect virtual machines but to also infect the computer itself. Malware is always unpredictable and playing with it can easily backfire if you don't know what you're doing.

Thank you for the warning. While I understand that you discourage it, and what I'm doing is at my own risk, I don't fly blind and tend to inform myself of what I'm running before testing it. There are also types of malware I don't test or touch with a fifty foot pole because I find them to be incredibly dangerous (more so than most malware), such as things like Petya or NotPetya. While I'm not on par with a security analyst, I don't proceed if I do not know what I'm doing, and read blogs by professionals before proceeding.
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Re: Anyone here like to test malware in a virtual machine?

Unread postby mAL_rEm018 » January 7th, 2021, 3:57 pm

Random American wrote:Thank you for the warning. While I understand that you discourage it, and what I'm doing is at my own risk, I don't fly blind and tend to inform myself of what I'm running before testing it. There are also types of malware I don't test or touch with a fifty foot pole because I find them to be incredibly dangerous (more so than most malware), such as things like Petya or NotPetya. While I'm not on par with a security analyst, I don't proceed if I do not know what I'm doing, and read blogs by professionals before proceeding.

I can't speak as to your qualifications, and you may very well know what you're doing, but this is not just about you. Others may come across this topic in the future, and I have a responsibility to inform them of the dangers of playing with malware.

When I say that malware is unpredictable, I mean just that. Some infections when installed will start downloading other malicious programs. Others will gain remote access to your computer and use it to distribute malware to other computers and commit other illegal activities. If you intentionally install one of these and are not well prepared, you are, in effect, "knowingly" infecting other computers and aiding criminal activities. The legality of this...

When it comes down to it, I can't tell you what to do. It is your computer, and what you do with it is up to you, but I have to warn you that should one of these "experiments" go bad and you are left with an infected computer, we won't be able to help you. Also, if you absolutely insist on using your main computer, then you should use a virtual machine within a virtual machine. Again, I must reiterate that unless you really know what you are doing, you should stay away from malware.
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Re: Anyone here like to test malware in a virtual machine?

Unread postby Random American » January 7th, 2021, 4:36 pm

mAL_rEm018 wrote:
Random American wrote:Thank you for the warning. While I understand that you discourage it, and what I'm doing is at my own risk, I don't fly blind and tend to inform myself of what I'm running before testing it. There are also types of malware I don't test or touch with a fifty foot pole because I find them to be incredibly dangerous (more so than most malware), such as things like Petya or NotPetya. While I'm not on par with a security analyst, I don't proceed if I do not know what I'm doing, and read blogs by professionals before proceeding.

I can't speak as to your qualifications, and you may very well know what you're doing, but this is not just about you. Others may come across this topic in the future, and I have a responsibility to inform them of the dangers of playing with malware.

When I say that malware is unpredictable, I mean just that. Some infections when installed will start downloading other malicious programs. Others will gain remote access to your computer and use it to distribute malware to other computers and commit other illegal activities. If you intentionally install one of these and are not well prepared, you are, in effect, "knowingly" infecting other computers and aiding criminal activities. The legality of this...

When it comes down to it, I can't tell you what to do. It is your computer, and what you do with it is up to you, but I have to warn you that should one of these "experiments" go bad and you are left with an infected computer, we won't be able to help you. Also, if you absolutely insist on using your main computer, then you should use a virtual machine within a virtual machine. Again, I must reiterate that unless you really know what you are doing, you should stay away from malware.

My apologies. If you think that this topic puts others at risk, please lock it.
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Re: Anyone here like to test malware in a virtual machine?

Unread postby mAL_rEm018 » January 7th, 2021, 4:51 pm

Random American wrote:My apologies. If you think that this topic puts others at risk, please lock it.

You don't have to apologize. I don't think you had any bad intentions by opening the topic... You find malware interesting, and I think we can all relate. :) In my case, I don't find analyzing malware as interesting as removing it.

If learning about malware, how to remove it, and helping out in the various forums is something you're interested in, then you might consider applying to our training: Malware Removal University - Information and Application I'm sure you would learn a lot in the process.
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Re: Anyone here like to test malware in a virtual machine?

Unread postby Random American » January 7th, 2021, 5:49 pm

Thanks, I will consider applying.
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Re: Anyone here like to test malware in a virtual machine?

Unread postby mAL_rEm018 » January 7th, 2021, 9:59 pm

Random American wrote:Thanks, I will consider applying.

I'm glad you're considering applying. :) If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
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