"You might have seen this scene during the climactic
shoot-out in any number of movies and television shows—the
hunted character lures his hunters into a room full of mirrors, who
fire their weapons at the reflections, mistaking them for the real
person. Like most of what we see on the screen, this probably isn't
a very plausible scenario in real life (who gets so confused by a
reflection, besides my cat?). But it is an apt metaphor when we
think about using PC virtualization to add a layer of defense
against malware and other types of security compromises.
"The most popular, and ballyhooed, type of virtualization today
is known as OS virtualization—wherein an entire operating
system is encapsulated in a self-contained running environment atop
a "real" operating system. You can use virtualization to run a full
copy of Windows 7 inside a window on an Ubuntu Linux desktop. Or
you could run Ubuntu Linux inside a window on Windows 7. You could
run Windows XP on Windows 7, or, again, vice versa."
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