We want to study for the CEH program and have downloaded 12 DVDs that 6 DVDs are software key-loggers, Trojans, etc. that are all detected by antivirus. This prevents us from examining them and learning how they work.
I have instructed students not to uninstall antivirus as running these malicious files is not safe on its own. It might even spread on the network.
One of the students suggests to use Windows XP mode. Is this safe? I see these articles 1 and 2 here but the answers are contradictory and confuse us.
Are virtual machines safe for downloading and installing Trojans, key-loggers, etc.?
Is there another way to solve this problems, e.g. set up a lab, to show what happens to victims of the malware?