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Can I 'catch' a Windows virus, while using Linux - so it will be saved on my hard drive and start working when I log in to Windows? I know it wouldn't affect the Linux itself. I am using 'Dual boot', not operating both systems at the same time.

Also, would a harming change, caused by, say - a spyware, to my browser (Chrome), while surfing when using 'Linux' appear again when I open my 'Chrome' on Windows ?

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I'd say it's possible, but unlikely. It's possible, in that a cross-platform proof-of-concept virus exists that runs uder both Linux and Windows. It's unlikely in that you'd have to download a TeX macro under Linux and then use TeX under Windows, transferring the TeX macro from a Linux disk to the Windows disk. Unlike Linux, Windows isn't too good with alternative filesystems. That just seems like it requires a lot of coincidences to be very probable.

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On the second one, if the spyware installs a Chrome extension / app (or change configuration, i.e. default search engine) and they are configured to be synchronized, it would transfer to all chrome instances involved in the sync.

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That is what I thought... Problem, thanks – user1611107 Nov 29 '12 at 9:25

As far as I can see, this would be very unlikely.

First, the virus would need to be distributed as a Linux binary - or anything cross-platform - and be smart enough to find a Windows partition. This is very easy to do (you can just search for a Windows folder).

Also, the virus would need to change the Windows registry, or other Windows configuration file, to enable itself. While the Windows API allows you to do those changes, a virus that ran on Linux would need to implement its own procedures to do them.

Finally, a spyware under your Linux web browser will not affect Windows. Probably the spyware would install under your /home directory (since then it doesn't need to be root) which is not accessible from Windows (different filesystems).

All this would be more work (for the virus developer) for very little gain: at this point, it might be more profitable for him to target the Linux side.

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I don't imaging for the virus to find its way to the Windows directory that would be too difficult - I can mount very easily all my drives to the Linux, so I can access files in my Windows folders. This is in Ubuntu anyways.. If I can do it' why wouldn't a virus be able to use the same path? – user1611107 Nov 29 '12 at 9:14
Indeed, any serious virus would/should be smart enough to find the Windows mountpoint. – Renan Nov 29 '12 at 22:41

The only way I see it is possible is to catch a virus executable on one of your Linux shared Samba directories, then boot to Windows and execute the planted executable from your own share.

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