It's incorrect to state that the virtual machine doesn't write to your hard drive, and it's also incorrect to state that virtual machines leave behind
very little evidence.. that's quite a dangerous assumption.. and by default, absolutely false.
The fact is that these virtual machines create a disk image and the virtual machine writes to that image ( which is written to your hard drive ) .. BY
DEFAULT .. these images are not encrypted and can be mounted as a drive on your machine... meaning that all someone would need to do is copy your
image and mount it on their computer.. your data is now available with minimal effort at all.
So again, the statements made in regards to that are just completely false... if you enable encryption and set a password then you're probably pretty
IF you really want to worry about not leaving evidence behind for whatever reason ( paranoid much? lol ) .. I would recommend the free software
called TrueCrypt... You can create an encrypted virtual drive and from there, you can create your vmware image inside that encrypted virtual drive...
when you're done playing in your virtual environment, you simply dismount the truecrypt volume... As long as you're using a very powerful password, or
making use of a key file.. you can bet on everything being secure.
ALTERNATIVE TO VMWARE .. for those who don't want to spend the money, you can download VirtualBox for no cost... it's very very similar to Vmware, in
my opinion it's actually better .. $0.00 .. Yes vmware player is free, but limited... VirtualBox is entirely free and without limit.. it's more like
the full commercial version of vmware, but again in my opinion, better.
Truecrypt is also $0.00
There's another app that you can also use for free that I highly recommend for those who are downloading and running software that you might not trust
.. it's called Sandboxie .. you can right click a program and launch it in sanbdboxed mode... it has a virtual registry and filesystem so everything
the program does is trapped within that box...
Virtual machines are certainly good for keeping your host system clear of infection.. I won't take issue with that
Ps. I'm a systems administrator for an internet company, I've been involved in security and systems management / programming and yes even some real
investigation work for law enforcement as part of my job.. I've been at it since 1998.. Practice safe internet =)
edit on 8/26/2012 by miniatus because: (no reason given)