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I'm not sure if it is safe, can someone provide more information on the matter?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

As Delameko said, using the snapshot way is something that works. Anyway, you should disconnect the host-guest netowrking when the guest becomes infested and remove all the shared folders , etc. So in a nutshell, isolate the guest totally.

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If you disable the network adapter you should be safe. It is possible to exploit the hypervisor of the virtual machine into execution code locally on the host, but this sort of exploit is very rare, because:

  1. What is the host hypervisor? Hyper-V, VMware, Xen?
  2. What is the guest OS? Linux, Mac, Windows or bare-metal?
  3. How many virtual machines are out there?

By the way, the safest way to bypass those "Trial Expired" screens is to PAY FOR YOUR SOFTWARE.

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There are times when the software author ended the business, the website is no longer avaliable and you can't purchase the software. HOWEVER, there are still packs on the internet which contains a crack and the software. NOW, what would you do? Don't do what you have to just because your pride won't allow that? oO – Shiki May 10 '10 at 12:06
Well if you can't purchase the software than you can't purchase a license to it... so it has nothing to do with pride, it's illegal. NOT LEGAL. AGAINST THE LAW. I believe some countries allow you to crack software YOU HAVE PAID FOR, but not "just because I want it", because you have paid for a license to that software and that is the only way to access it. – May 10 '10 at 13:04
It has nothing to do with pride and everything to do with honoring the law. It's still illegal. Period. No amount of justifying it to yourself changes that fact. – BBlake May 10 '10 at 14:12
Changed the question to take away the "cracked", which was controversial and finally irrelevant to the problem. Let's leave legal problems outside of SU. – Gnoupi May 10 '10 at 14:29
Well. I'm not a lawyer, I'm a person who wants to get something done. If you can't get a license, nor contact the retailer. What do you do? Hang yourself, quit your job, whatever just to avoid using that software which would do the task in a blink? Feels weird. I meant this way. If the whole way becomes impossible to use it legally. Sometimes you can't drop a software just because of that. (Nah I'm not a pirate, IIRC 100% of my stuff on the PC is legal, even music, games, etc.) – Shiki May 12 '10 at 20:34

I test malware in several virtual environments. What you should be most careful about is your virtual environment's ability to provide "shared access" to the host environment. In the case of Parallels, there is an option to configure the virtual system to access the users' home directory. This would effectively give any virus/malware the ability to affect my host directory. Possibly remove files or mangle them. Virtualbox and VMWare also allows for this kind of cross-host sharing.

If your host is a Windows system, take special care to disable networking on the virtual system. Since the host and virtual are on the same network, windows will regard the virtual system to be on the "home" network, thus allowing potentially greater access.

Good Luck!

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Well it's probably illegal to run a cracked program, but...

I don't have much experience with Virtual PC.

If you can create a Save state, do that, and then install the software. When you're done you can always revert back to the save state.

It'll still install the malware on the virtual machine, so you can't do much about that.

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glossing over the fact the cracked software is probably illegal make sure that it is not connected to any network, virtual or otherwise, and that there is no way it can access the host machine through shared folders or similar.

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