Can a virus caught within a Virtual Machine installation of an operating system infect the host operating system?

Joseph Videtto December 8, 2012
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Can exclusive use of a Virtual Machine running Windows XP on top of a Windows XP operating system eliminate the hassle of recovering from a virus infection? Assuming you have a backup of the non-infected VM stored?

Put another way – can a virus infect your operating system (e.g. a Windows XP operating system) while the user is exclusively using a Virtual Machine of the Windows XP operating system (installed over Windows XP)?

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