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How safe is the Virtualbox Guest OS assuming I have this setup. Host is Windows XP and Guest is another Windows XP?

  1. If the Host was infected by a virus or worm, will be the Guest OS be affected as well?
  2. If the Host was infected by a keylogger, will the keylogger be able to capture the keys typed in the Guest OS?
  3. If the Host was infected by spyware, will it affect the Guest OS?
  4. Basically, are the Host and Guest OS separate from each other? Can I think of it as 2 separate machines?
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You can think of the guest and host as separate computers. However, a key logger can conceivably grab the input for the guest even if it were only on the host.

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  1. That matters. Most of viruses aren't even aware of virtual machine, but then, crazy programmer could make such feature.
  2. Yes, it can, unless the keylogger is really badly coded.
  3. Look point 1.
  4. You can consider the guest OS that it cannot access files on your host in any way. It's different story with host OS. It can access guest OS fully (but many viruses aren't aware of its existence, because not many people use them, and programming viruses to detect VM would really take a lot of time).
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