Bootcamp partition vulnerability

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
This has probably been discussed in another thread, but I haven't found it.



With Windows installed on a Bootcamp partition, how safe is the OS X partition from viruses, worms, etc.? Would the whole HDD be affected if the malware was directed at the Windows side?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,228moderator
    Windows can't read/write an HFS partition so something that could damage data wouldn't do anything but there is software that enables HFS read/write so I guess it can be included in malicious software. If booted natively, Windows software that does direct damage to the drive partitions could easily wipe out the whole thing including OS X itself.



    In the end, a natively booted Windows has enough formatting power over the Mac partition as the Mac does over the Windows partition when you are running OS X. With Disk Utility, you can erase the whole Windows side in seconds.
  • Reply 2 of 5
    sequitursequitur Posts: 1,901member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Windows can't read/write an HFS partition so something that could damage data wouldn't do anything but there is software that enables HFS read/write so I guess it can be included in malicious software. If booted natively, Windows software that does direct damage to the drive partitions could easily wipe out the whole thing including OS X itself.



    In the end, a natively booted Windows has enough formatting power over the Mac partition as the Mac does over the Windows partition when you are running OS X. With Disk Utility, you can erase the whole Windows side in seconds.



    Marvin, my daughter just bought a MBP with the idea of adding XP, so she can work (VPN) from home at times. What would you suggest to install to keep the computer from being compromised?
  • Reply 3 of 5
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,228moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sequitur View Post


    Marvin, my daughter just bought a MBP with the idea of adding XP, so she can work (VPN) from home at times. What would you suggest to install to keep the computer from being compromised?



    She could boot her Bootcamp partition using VMWare instead of natively. This also saves a reboot. I'm not sure how much extra protection that gives but you don't get native access to the Mac filesystem without using shared folders. Security people say that virtualization products aren't safer than native:



    http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/securit...9286287,00.htm



    but although the Windows data may be just as vulnerable, I think there is a little extra protection regarding other OSs. I wouldn't worry about it too much, install a free anti-virus package like AVG Free and always treat slightly suspicious files or emails as though they may be dangerous.
  • Reply 4 of 5
    sequitursequitur Posts: 1,901member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    She could boot her Bootcamp partition using VMWare instead of natively. This also saves a reboot. I'm not sure how much extra protection that gives but you don't get native access to the Mac filesystem without using shared folders. Security people say that virtualization products aren't safer than native:



    http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/securit...9286287,00.htm



    but although the Windows data may be just as vulnerable, I think there is a little extra protection regarding other OSs. I wouldn't worry about it too much, install a free anti-virus package like AVG Free and always treat slightly suspicious files or emails as though they may be dangerous.



    Thanks. You're my personal "Mac genius".
  • Reply 5 of 5
    bbwibbwi Posts: 812member
    I like Avast better than AVG. Avast scans web pages as they're downloaded which is critical these days.
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