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Virus Encyclopedia

Welcome to the Virus Encyclopedia of Panda Security.


Threat LevelLow threatDamageHighDistributionNot widespread
Common name:Sinowal.WXO
Technical name:Trj/Sinowal.WXO
Threat level:Medium
Effects:   It allows to get into the affected computer. It searches for and steals passwords saved for certain Windows services. It carries out actions that decrease the security level of the computer. It uses stealth techniques to avoid being detected by the user. It uses anti-monitoring techniques in order to prevent it being detected by antivirus companies. It spreads , across the Internet.
Affected platforms:

Windows 2003/XP/2000/NT/ME/98/95

First detected on:March 8, 2010
Detection updated on:June 21, 2010
Proactive protection:
Yes, using TruPrevent Technologies

Brief Description 


Sinowal.WXO is a Trojan, which although seemingly inoffensive, can actually carry out attacks and intrusions.


It captures certain information entered or saved by the user, with the corresponding threat to privacy: passwords saved by certain Windows services.


It reduces the security level of the computer: it changes the security settings of Internet Explorer, decreasing its security level; it awaits remote-control orders received through HTTP; it changes system permissions, decreasing the security level.


It uses stealth techniques to avoid being detected by the user:

  • It uses techniques included in its code to hide itself while it is active.


It uses several methods in order to avoid detection by antivirus companies:

  • It terminates its own execution if it detects that it is being executed in a virtual machine environment, such as VMWare or VirtualPC.
  • It prevents scanning tools from running, such as Windows Registry Editor, FileMonitor, etc.


Sinowal.WXO uses the following propagation or distribution methods:

  • Exploiting vulnerabilities with the intervention of the user: exploiting vulnerabilities in file formats or applications. To exploit them successfully it needs the intervention of the user: opening files, viewing malicious web pages, reading emails, etc.
  • Via Internet, exploiting remote vulnerabilities: attacking random IP addresses, in which it tries to insert a copy of itself by exploiting one or more vulnerabilities.