Many virtual machine users think they're safe from malware attacks because malware programmers would steer clear of them in the past to avoid detection. But, that's not the case anymore.
In the past, virtual machines were used a lot by security companies to analyze malware. So, many of the people behind malware attacks programmed their viruses to detect if they're on a virtual machine and abort the mission. But, now that more and more businesses are using virtual machines in their everyday operations, cybercriminals are looking at other ways to avoid detection and still infect virtual machines.
Malware authors want to compromise as many systems as possible, so if malware does not run on a VM, it limits the number of computers it could compromise. So, it should not come as a surprise that most samples today will run normally on a virtual machine and that the features can be added if the cybercriminal wishes to do so.
Simply, malware is coming after virtual machines now, too. Symantec studied 200,000 customer submissions from the past two years and found that only about 18% of malware even detects it's on a virtual machine.
On average, one in five malware samples will detect virtual machines and abort execution.
Virtual machines can still be useful for many reasons, but you have to remember to keep yourself protected. Click here to learn how to set up a virtual machine and keep it secure.