Effectiveness of sandboxing?

  Probabilitydrive 13:41 28 Nov 2006

Many threads here address security issues, i.e which AV-programme/Anti-spy...etc.

I would like to try out sandbox software, but have-as yet-no experience how user friendly/secure they are.

As I understand it; Sandbox programme enables you to run software (including your browser + downloads) by containing them in a temporary environment on a section of your HDD.

Should you have installed nasties/malware with your downloads, all you have to do is empty your sandbox..

1) Is it effective and as easy as it sounds?

2) Are there programmes you have tried and could recommend?

3) If it is as effective as it sounds in preventing malware/viruses..etc.. installing on your system, why does it not feature more in discussions about system security?

Is there a difference between sandboxong and running a system with a Virtual environments programme?

  iambeavis 13:55 28 Nov 2006

Sandboxie - click here (free)
ShadowUser -click here (commercial)

I used both of them, when I used 'XP'. Both are equally effective although 'ShadowUser' is probably the more sophisticated of the two. They are both easy to set up, easy to use and you can save any downloads to your hard-drive, if you so wish.

  gudgulf 13:56 28 Nov 2006

You could give this a try click here

How effective it is I don't know,not having tried anything like this personally.

I'm tempted to give it a go and see for myself what it does.

  iambeavis 13:59 28 Nov 2006

I forgot to add that you will, still, require some form of AV to scan any software, etc that you might download - but you only use it as, and when, you need it - so you may save some system resources..

  Probabilitydrive 14:11 28 Nov 2006

Sandboxie seems to be popular, as I came across this name a few times.

Certainly the features of sandboxing software and being able to monitor applications, and kicking them out without any residue left in your system (..registry entries..programme folders..etc) is an attractive addition to your overall system security.

I might be wrong, but doesn,t VISTA have also some sort of temporary environment features?

Anyhow, I give it a go with Sandboxie and see whether it turns me again into a playful toddler or a nervous wreck...;-)

  gudgulf 14:16 28 Nov 2006

Is running a sandbox program heavy on system resources in general?

And is the sandbox environment monitored by a running AV program?

How does it interact with a firewall?

Hmmmm.........I'm currently in the process of recovering a friends laptop from a virus related crash and ham-fisted attempt at recovery.Now it's reformatted and back in service I can see a little trial might be in order.The laptop has an installed teenager and a sandbox might be a good way of counteracting some of the pitfalls with such a user,lol.

  Probabilitydrive 14:21 28 Nov 2006

Just found out a few more bits and bobs.

Sandboxie: is free and 241KB in size
payed version approx.(£ 10.--) allows you to seet the software to always sandbox certain programs.

Whether that poses a barrier or a challenge for a teenager is anybodys guess...

  iambeavis 14:35 28 Nov 2006

No, a sandbox isn't heavy on system resources. What I meant by saving resources is the fact that your AV doesn't need to start-up with the sytem - you only use it to scan specific files after you download them into the sandbox but before you move them onto your hard-drive.

  iambeavis 14:47 28 Nov 2006

Sorry, I posted too soon. The sandbox is similar to a 'Virtual environment' with a copy of your OS sitting in it. When you change from the 'Sandbox' to your actual OS everything in the SB is erased - any apps you installed or any files you created are gone, as are any 'nasties' that might have come onboard. You need to set up protected folders for any files you create, or download, whilst in the SB (you scan them with an AV before moving them to your 'real folders'). Everything works as normal, whilst in the SB, including firewalls.

Sorry, I'm not very technical, so that's the most precise I can be with an explanation.

  gudgulf 15:02 28 Nov 2006

Thanks for that.......it gives me something to think about.

I'll have to have a play with it and see if it can be of any use.

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