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My operating system is Windows XP. I have installed VMWare Player 3.1.4 with the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS desktop VMware image in order to play with a Linux system.

Here is the question: If I didn't update the Ubuntu system to fix all security issues, will I have potential problems with people being able to access my Windows files?

// update //

The major reason that I don't want to update the Ubuntu system is that it causes my system to be extremely slow.

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Just update the system when you're not using it. –  Joe Internet Apr 24 '11 at 4:37
    
@Joe Internet I've noticed that the Ubuntu auto-updater doesn't reliably kick in if you leave Ubuntu running on its own. –  Zian Choy Apr 24 '11 at 4:49
    
I'm not sure... I do manual updates. IMO, running a manual update every week or so is still better than not updating your system at all. –  Joe Internet Apr 26 '11 at 2:32
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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

There would need to be a vulnerability in the VMware Player software itself. It would not be a vulnerability in Ubuntu that would cause such a problem, although a vulnerability could in theory allow the installation of software which communicates through normal channels to the host OS, or allow installation of software which exploits a vulnerability in the VM.

Short answer: it's possible, but highly unlikely.

That said, why wouldn't you update the VM if you use it regularly?

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The secret to understanding VMs are, they arn't any different from a physical system in terms of security. Not counting exotic VM specific hacks, the risk to your network (and by extension, your host) is the same as the risk you'd have if any other system on your system was hacked into. The ways to prevent it are the same.

So, no, its probably not any more dangerous than if you had a unpatched physical ubuntu system on your network.

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No problems. Because the OS running within a virtual machine is isolated from the hosted OS. Even when you get a virus in your virtual machine, your Windows is safe.

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