What Happens If You Get a Virus on a Virtual Machine?
Virtual machines are safe and all and are able to help minimize the chances of your main computer, which is your host computer, from getting infected with viruses and malware while you are doing your usual online stuff. But what if the virtual machine gets infected? What happens if you get a virus on a virtual machine?
When a virus infects a virtual machine, it will treat it as any other normal computer and will try to infect the systems of that machine similar to how it would with any other ordinary computer. And if you allow your host to be in constant communication with the virtual machine, there is a chance for the virus to spread.
A virtual machine acts like any other computer running a different OS. As such, even viruses will end up treating it as a regular computer but there are viruses and malware that may be sophisticated enough that they are built with a feature that will allow them to bypass the virtual machine. In a sense, there is still a good chance for the host to get infected.
Is a virtual machine secure?
Whether or not a virtual machine is secure has always been a question that plagues the minds of most security experts. After all, using a virtual machine can help improve the security of individual computers in most companies or even of those working at home. But is a virtual machine really secure?
Well, the truth is that a virtual machine is like any other computer in the sense that it will only be as secure as you would like it to be. The internet is full of threats and risks that any computer (even the most advanced ones) can fall prey to. That’s why most computers nowadays are equipped with the latest firewall and antivirus software to make sure that they are as protected as they can be when they are used for visiting different sites on the internet and for opening various files from unknown sources.
So, if you are being cautious with your real computer, you should also act the same way with your virtual machine in the sense that you should also try to give it the best security features possible. In that sense, making sure that your virtual machines are also protected by firewall and antivirus software can make them more secure.
But this is easier said than done because most of those who are using virtual machines tend to simply disregard a lot of the security measures they would have taken in their host computers. For example, there are plenty of people who use weak and short passwords with their host computers because it makes it easier for them to remember such passwords. Another example is how people can be a bit careless when running programs and visiting sites when they are using virtual machines.
Because of how there are people who are not as careful in using their virtual machines as they are with their host computers, their virtual machines end up becoming a cesspool of viruses and malware that can potentially penetrate into the host if they are not careful. And a lot of different host computers have been hacked primarily because of how hackers were able to infect the virtual machine and found a way to bypass the protocol to reach the host.
So, generally speaking, a virtual machine should be safe if you use it well enough and treat it like you would with your computer. But, because people often forget about the fact that virtual machines can also get infected and may also infect their hosts, they tend to be careless with how they use their virtual machines.
Can you get a virus on a virtual machine?
As mentioned, even though a virtual machine is technically just software that opens a window that would run a different operating system and treat that window as an entirely different computer, the fact of the matter is that your virtual machine will still be seen as a real computer by third parties on the internet.
So, as far as the virus is concerned, your virtual machine is not a virtual machine and it will still infect its systems like it would with any other normal computer. From the point of view of the virus, the virtual machine is its own world and it will stay in that world similar to how any other virus would when they infect a regular computer.
What happens if you get a virus on a virtual machine?
Now that you know that a virus can potentially infect a virtual machine, what happens to the virtual machine if a virus does infect it? Well, what happens to a regular computer when it is infected by a virus is the same thing that would happen if a virus infects a virtual machine. The virus will begin to infect the virtual machine and try to take over its systems.
Normally, the virus will stay in the virtual machine because it treats it as its world and does not recognize the host as an entirely same entity that is merely emulating the virtual machine. However, there are exceptions to this especially if the virus has the ability to spread out, propagate itself, and infect other computers.
For example, if you are using a shared network and shared folders between your virtual machine and your host computer, the virus may be able to get to your host via the network.
That is why, when you are using a virtual machine and there is a risk of it getting infected by a virus, you should isolate it as quickly as possible by cutting it off from the network and by treating it strictly as its own computer without access to your host computer. That way, you will be minimizing the chances of it propagating and potentially penetrating the virtual machine protocol to get to your host computer.