On Tue, 2010-10-12 at 16:01 +0100, Matthew wrote: > If an individual is using Tor, Polipo, Torbutton, NoScript, and > BetterPrivacy then why is a VM needed? > > How can VMs improve one's Tor experience? Presume you are being pursued by the Illuminati, because you alone have knowledge of the Holder of the Fourth (you lucky devil, you). They have 0-day exploits for Firefox (because Mozilla is actually a front for the Illuminati - sorry I had to be the one to tell you), and are thus able to circumvent Torbutton and Noscript and execute arbitrary code from the user account that is running Firefox. If you are running Firefox as your normal user account with no further limitations on it, the Illuminati will be able to go into your pictures folder and see what you look like, or modify your .bashrc and your PATH to install a malicious wrapper program that pings their server every time you start vim (better switch to Emacs). If you're running Firefox as a user on a VM, and running it over a forwarded X session, all the Illuminati can do is access files on the VM and try to exploit your X server. This is a case of the security principle of defense-in-depth: running torified programs in VMs allows some degree of risk mitigation if you assume the program in question has been compromised, so even if you assume you're running malicious code, you can contain the damage, remain anonymous, and evade the Illuminati.
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