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[SOLVED] Dual booting systems and ransomware

Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:37 pm
by MrT
I was wondering if anyone could explain to me what could potentially happen to someone who has a dual booting system (Windows 10 and Linux Mint) in case Windows 10 disk is attacked by a Ransomware "virus". I would expect that it should not be able to reach the Mint partitions that Windows cannot read. But, what happens to grub? Or are there other issues that I am not even seeing at the moment? I tend to keep a copy of my most relevant documents on both systems and I have 90% of my relevant software running on Linux Mint as well, just in case (some cost me a bit to get a second license, but better safe than sorry; however, most are free). It is just I always assumed that doing this I was basically "invincible" and someone wrote that I would be, but only to some extent.

Thank you.

Re: Dual booting systems and ransomware

Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 2:31 pm
by iain_33
If your files are on a Linux partition like ext4, they're untouchable by Windows or any Windows virus, unless the virus corrupts the partition table - and even then they're recoverable, with some time and effort.

If a virus messes with grub, you could just boot from a Live USB and fix it. Heck, nevermind viruses, Windows messes with grub.

Re: Dual booting systems and ransomware

Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:27 pm
by ZakGordon
iain_33 wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 2:31 pm
If a virus messes with grub, you could just boot from a Live USB and fix it. Heck, nevermind viruses, Windows messes with grub.
Windows 10 especially hates any other OS. I would not trust it in a dual-boot setup because it IS going to break your dual-boot at some point.

Re: Dual booting systems and ransomware

Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:03 pm
by iain_33
I'd just add that whether or not you could lose your stuff to ransomware, it's just as likely that you could lose it to HDD failure. Backup, backup, backup!

Re: Dual booting systems and ransomware

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:35 am
by BG405
I wonder exactly how difficult it would be for these ransomware "authors" to include code which can access ext partitions? ... I wouldn't take the chance, myself. As Iain_33 said - backup!

Re: Dual booting systems and ransomware

Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:08 am
by powerhouse
Run Windows in a passthrough VM. It's challenging to set up, but once done, you will probably never look back.

See viewtopic.php?f=231&t=212692 and there is a newer one I wrote using Pop_OS, but it works with Linux Mint too, except that you need to use grub and not this rather sh!tty kernelstub.

Re: Dual booting systems and ransomware

Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:20 am
by Kadaitcha Man
MrT wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:37 pm
... I always assumed that doing this I was basically "invincible" and someone wrote that I would be, but only to some extent.
No system is invincible.If you give Windows access to your linux files then malware can damage them either via a Windows ext4 add-on or a network share. If you want to be as safe as possible then the solution is to install something like VirtualBox and run Windows in a virtual Machine. You can then make a directory on your linux system and share it with the Windows VM. When you need files from linux to be available to the VM, you simply copy them to the shared directory. This will protect the rest of your filesystem from Windows malware.