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Author Topic: It is safe to use virtual machine as a cold storage?  (Read 574 times)
krauzzer02
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October 13, 2017, 07:14:53 AM
 #1

I've come across with some post about using virtual machine to store your private key and make it as a cold storage wallet for your crypto coins. My question is, it is safer to use VM instead of your original OS? is it advisable to store my bitcoins to a VM? increasing my immunity against the hackers of the private key and wallet? all of your answers are much appreciated and will help me a lot thanks.

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October 13, 2017, 07:22:27 AM
 #2

I've come across with some post about using virtual machine to store your private key and make it as a cold storage wallet for your crypto coins.
I've never read this. I use VMs to install altcoin wallets I don't trust, to protect my host OS (and even this is said to pose a risk to the host OS, as malware might escape the VM).

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My question is, it is safer to use VM instead of your original OS?
Once your host is compromised, it's best to assume your VM is compromised too. So no, it's not safer.

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is it advisable to store my bitcoins to a VM?
I wouldn't do it.

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increasing my immunity against the hackers of the private key and wallet?
If you want cold storage, you should start at it's definition: "Cold storage in the context of Bitcoin refers to keeping a reserve of Bitcoins offline."
The keyword is "offline": any private key that has ever touched anything online, can't be cold storage anymore. Unless your host OS has never been online (in which case hackers are not a risk), you'll have to re-think your setup.

Easiest and cheapest cold storage: print paper wallets offline, from a LIVE Linux DVD, on a dumb offline (laser)printer.

krauzzer02
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October 13, 2017, 07:40:32 AM
 #3

I've come across with some post about using virtual machine to store your private key and make it as a cold storage wallet for your crypto coins.
I've never read this. I use VMs to install altcoin wallets I don't trust, to protect my host OS (and even this is said to pose a risk to the host OS, as malware might escape the VM).

Quote
My question is, it is safer to use VM instead of your original OS?
Once your host is compromised, it's best to assume your VM is compromised too. So no, it's not safer.

Quote
is it advisable to store my bitcoins to a VM?
I wouldn't do it.

Quote
increasing my immunity against the hackers of the private key and wallet?
If you want cold storage, you should start at it's definition: "Cold storage in the context of Bitcoin refers to keeping a reserve of Bitcoins offline."
The keyword is "offline": any private key that has ever touched anything online, can't be cold storage anymore. Unless your host OS has never been online (in which case hackers are not a risk), you'll have to re-think your setup.

Easiest and cheapest cold storage: print paper wallets offline, from a LIVE Linux DVD, on a dumb offline (laser)printer.
Thanks for the clear and straight answer  Smiley

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October 13, 2017, 12:55:42 PM
 #4

I've come across with some post about using virtual machine to store your private key and make it as a cold storage wallet for your crypto coins. My question is, it is safer to use VM instead of your original OS? is it advisable to store my bitcoins to a VM? increasing my immunity against the hackers of the private key and wallet? all of your answers are much appreciated and will help me a lot thanks.
Yes, it seems to be more safe to use a virtal machine because it is new step to hack for the hackers.
But, be carrefull, especially if you use Windows : each update for the OS, for the VM software, for the OS installed in the VM and for the wallet, can be a risk for the user...
You have to find the best compromise.

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October 13, 2017, 03:55:16 PM
 #5

I see people very often making this confusion. Using virtual machines for safety only works the other way around, you protect your host system from the guest system. So you don't add security to your system by installing a VM, you add to the security by shifting the use of your host system for dangerous operations to the VM, as the VM should keep all the malware in and not let it escape to the host.

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October 13, 2017, 09:43:24 PM
 #6

Using virtual machines is pretty creative but doesn't seem too to be the safest option. What would happen if the server is reset? In that case I'm assuming your data is gone. Look up some low cost cold storage methods like a paper wallet or a USB drive. It shouldn't be that hard to pull off if you carefully follow the stepsa and it will be a lot cheaper.
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October 14, 2017, 09:02:53 AM
 #7

I've come across with some post about using virtual machine to store your private key and make it as a cold storage wallet for your crypto coins. My question is, it is safer to use VM instead of your original OS? is it advisable to store my bitcoins to a VM? increasing my immunity against the hackers of the private key and wallet? all of your answers are much appreciated and will help me a lot thanks.

You have to understand one thing that no security is full security and every precaution you take, eventually will fail. A VM running Arch Linux or CentOS is a good option to keep coins safely provided that VM is never connected to internet. However this is very unlikely that you will waste 30GB of your hard drive space for a wallet and to access it you will turn your VM on and off every 2-3hours if you are a heavy bitcoin user. A desktop wallet is good enough and should serve most (may not be all) of your needs and keeping an updated OS and antivirus should work. Also be careful of phishing mails and software you install for key-loggers and dont believe everything you see on the internet.

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October 22, 2017, 10:01:10 AM
 #8

I've come across with some post about using virtual machine to store your private key and make it as a cold storage wallet for your crypto coins. My question is, it is safer to use VM instead of your original OS? is it advisable to store my bitcoins to a VM? increasing my immunity against the hackers of the private key and wallet? all of your answers are much appreciated and will help me a lot thanks.
Well if your computer is compromised the hacker has to turn on the virtual machine then access your keys through sure, that is an extra step that makes it harder but its by no means fully 'secure'.

One good aspect is you can keep your VM "cold" while you continue to use your PC normally and the VM is then sandboxed in a way, however if your PC is fully compromised the attacker could potentially be able to spin up the VM.

I could say you might get a mass trojan that would scan for known wallet instances and that they would not notice and and therefor not report back any wallets on your PC, since its hiding on a VM. But if someone knew you had a large wallet on a vm and they were trying to target your VM wallet specifically they could probably work their way in.

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