Threat Description

Virus: ​W32/Sality


Category: Malware
Type: Virus
Platform: W32
Aliases: Virus:​W32/Sality, Virus.Win32.Sality, Win32.sality, Spyware.Pws.A


The detection name Virus:W32/Sality refers to a large family of viruses that infect executable files.


Automatic action

Once detected, the F-Secure security product will automatically disinfect the suspect file by either deleting it or renaming it.

More scanning & removal options

More information on scanning or removal options is available in the documentation for your F-Secure security product on the Downloads section of our Home - Global site.

You may also refer to the Knowledge Base on the F-Secure Community site for more information.

Contact Support

For further assistance, F-Secure customers can request support online via the Request support or the Chat forms on our Home - Global site.

Technical Details

The Sality virus family has been circulating in the wild as early as 2003. Over the years, the malware has been developed and improved with the addition of new features, such as rootkit or backdoor functionality, and so on, keeping it an active and relevant threat despite the relative age of the malware.

Modern Sality variants also have the ability to communicate over a peer-to-peer (P2P) network, allowing an attacker to control a botnet of Sality-infected machines. The combined resources of the Sality botnet may also be used by its controller(s) to perform other malicious actions, such as attacking routers.


Sality viruses typically infect executable files on local, shared and removable drives. In earlier variants, the Sality virus simply added its own malicious code to the end of the infected (or host) file, a technique known as prepending. The viral code that Sality inserts is polymorphic, a form of complex code that is intended to make analysis more difficult.

Earlier Sality variants were regarded as technically sophisticated in that they use an Entry Point Obscuration (EPO) technique to hide their presence on the system. The EPO feature allowed the virus to force the infected system to redirect execution from the


Once installed on the computer system, Sality viruses usually also execute a malicious payload. The specific actions performed depend on the specific variant in question, but generally Sality viruses will attempt to terminate processes, particularly those related to security programs. The virus may also attempt to open connections to remote sites, download and run additional malicious files, and steal data from the infected machine.

For representative examples of Sality viruses, see the following descriptions:

Description Created: 2010-05-04 08:33:51.0

Description Last Modified: 2015-08-13 08:11:38.0


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