Can a virus or trojan affect contents on another hard drive? (on same computer)

Discussion in 'malware problems & news' started by squash, Mar 1, 2006.

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  1. squash

    squash Registered Member

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    Can it?
    I have 2 hard drives (NOT partitions) installed in thsic computer
    One is my normal, Windows and personal files one
    One is my backup one with an image files of the normal Windows hard drive

    If I infect my normal one with a virus, can it do anything to my backup one?
     
  2. planet_bill

    planet_bill Registered Member

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    Potentially yes. As long as they are linked by the same operating system if a virus is active in memory or executed on a hard disk it can infect files anywhere. For instance if you access a file on your other drive (non-OS) the virus could do whatever. It depends on the virus and what it's instructions for how and when it self replicates and what it decides to damage.

    That's why Acronis has the Secure Zone as I understand it. However for some reason I tested SZ and it didn't seem to work real well. A lot of people seemed to be having problems using it especially as related to automated backups - out of space errors, etc.

    I am in the same boat. Originally I had my back up system on an external hard drive which I thought was a bit safer, and it may be but I had problems with the external drive losing it's MBR. So now I am like you and have it as a second drive internally.

    Probably you should technically use SZ to be safe. Make sure you run a good antivirus and firewall and eliminate spam, spyware / adware.

    The only way to really avoid the issue I believe is to do offline (outside of OS) backups such as from BartPE. Perhaps having a server doing the backup over a network may be somewhat of an alternative. Cd and Dvd backups which are write once can't be infected after the fact, but any of these backup can be infected if the source drive has a virus on it when the backup is performed (it just backs up the virus).
     
  3. squash

    squash Registered Member

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    Thank You for your informative answer.

    The backup drive I have has only Linux installed with partimage.
    So my normal everyday use Windows drive can't write to that, unless of course, I download ext3 support for Windows, which i don't do because of this very same issue.
     
  4. planet_bill

    planet_bill Registered Member

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    Ok, so you have it set up as dual boot and every once in a while you reboot into Linux and run a backup?

    I like mine to just run off and on all the time without being attended to if possible. Perhaps have a second low end machine as a server running a different OS and something such as True Image would be good. That way the virus couldn't really communicate and transfer to another location, but it would still be automated as the server would have a regular auto backup schedule.

    I am thinking of putting together a server just for that purpose in my home network to back up all our pc's - we have about 5.
     
  5. squash

    squash Registered Member

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    That is correct.
    Except it's not dual boot, I have only Linux on one hard drive and Windows on another hard drive, so they are on different physical medias not two O/S on one which is the typical term for 'dual boot'

    I boot into Linux to create an image file on the NTFS Windows hard drive and also restore from there
     
  6. Rmus

    Rmus Exploit Analyst

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    Yes. As it was explained to me, a virus can code to look for all drive letters (partitions). For example, a system might have:

    HD 1 (internal) C:\

    HD 2 (internal D:\, E:\

    HD 3 (external USB) F:\. G:\

    Noticed recently, Deja vu - Snow.A

    "appends its code to all .EXE files in all drives, including mapped network drives and removable disks."

    ---
     
  7. EASTER.2010

    EASTER.2010 Guest

    I wouldn't think a virus could be capable to see the other OS such as an alternate D:\ drive if you used some partition manager to "HIDE" that other drive but just my opinion on that.
     
  8. Fernando Villegas

    Fernando Villegas Registered Member

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    Way too complicated. I got 2 hard disks, c: and d: , and my programs in c: have no problem seeing and writing to d:

    So clearly bad proggies shouldn't have any problems.

    Not sure about different OSes, probably harder.
     
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