I posted a car on Craigslist the other day and since then I've been getting nothing but scam emails that contain links the people want me to click. I know not to clink the links and that it's a scam, but nonetheless I am still curious as to what these people are up to. Is there a way to safely view a website that I know may be malicious? I know I could create a VM machine but was looking for another method that may be a little quicker than that.

For what it's worth, I'm running XP Pro SP3 and typically use Firefox (3.5.5).


Is there a way to safely view a website that I know may be malicious?

grab Sandboxie and safely view ANY website.

  • That's pretty hot. I've never heard of Sandboxie before but looks great. – rodey Dec 15 '09 at 15:37
  • Kinda interesting that Beaner had the exact same same answer too. – Chris Dec 15 '09 at 15:43
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    Be careful. Sanboxie has had many known security problems with allowing applications access that it should prevent. wilderssecurity.com/archive/index.php/t-104981.html is an example – MDMarra Dec 15 '09 at 15:44
  • nonsense, this 'example' of yours is well 4 year old posts and those issues have long since been addressed, in fact, the developer is pretty fast to respond to possible vulnerabilities and updates are released frequently – Molly7244 Dec 15 '09 at 16:01
  • Yes, but it shows the model is not perfect and it is prone to possible vulnerabilities. Using a linux live CD is much safer. – That Brazilian Guy Sep 8 '13 at 15:11

You can use Sandboxie. I'd still be afraid, but only because I've never tried something like that. In theory though everything that a web site did would be completely isolated and undone by just deleting the sandbox. You could also get a text only (like Lynx) browser. You should be able to see enough of the web site to get an idea what they are trying to do.

  • Nice varity of options to use. – Chris Dec 15 '09 at 15:44
  • +1, you have indeed posted this answer before me, i didn't see that, my apologies. – Molly7244 Dec 15 '09 at 16:06
  • You both posted at the same time, so I think it's understandable! – stone Dec 27 '09 at 22:35

Boot from a linux live CD and browse the suspect sites from it. The odds are overwhelmingly high that the malware is targeting windows so you shouldn't have anything to worry about.


You can download and burn Knoppix. It is a bootable Linux designed to run entirely from the CD. Most distros offer live CDs, but Knoppix is specifically designed to run entirely from a CD.

Since you are running your OS from a ramdisk and the CD, you cannot do any harm unless you mount your hard drive, and even then the chances are very very very slim that any damage can be done.

  • I have several Live CD's but then I'd have to reboot...maybe I'm just lazy but I need something a little quicker. Great idea though. – rodey Dec 15 '09 at 15:38

I've use a text-based browser to do this in the past. Usually, that would be w3m, but lynx will do in a pinch.

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    Wooohhh...never occurred to me to use a text-browser for such things. Will keep that mind. +1 – Bobby Dec 15 '09 at 15:46

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