Concerned by Sinowal?

Like me you may have read on the BBC's web site today about a 'Trojan virus steals banking info' I normally pass these articles by knowing the truth BUT I'm aware that to some they will take this as 'read' and worry. So here's the background.

It seems that the BBC and other sources (The Register for example) are quoting this RSA article. I tend to look to CERT for my data and their page HERE is very informative (and without vendor attacking hyperbole!).

So, what to do? Well, don't panic and just follow the usual security advice from Microsoft - or even the advice from CERT at the bottom of their article. There is a tool that is regularly updated that will scan your machine for Sinowal and a list of other malicious software - it's a free download from Microsoft Update but for detailed information see HERE. Now here's the thing that really bugs me when these things hit the news - if you look at the list of Malicious software on that page and search for Sinowal you will see that Microsoft first issued an advisory on this malware in September 2006! So for over 2 years there has been a free scan tool capable of detecting this - yet no mention of this in the 'press' articles. If you look HERE you'll see the information we have published on Sinowal. On this web page you'll find information and the following steps for prevention:



Take the following steps to help prevent infection on your system:

  • Enable a firewall on your computer.

  • Get the latest computer updates.

  • Use up-to-date antivirus software.

  • Use caution with attachments and file transfers.

Enable a firewall on your computer

Use a third-party firewall product or turn on the Microsoft Windows XP Internet Connection Firewall.

To turn on the Internet Connection Firewall in Windows XP

  1. Click Start, and click Control Panel.

  2. Click Network and Internet Connections. If you do not see Network and Internet Connections, click Switch to Category View.

  3. Click Change Windows Firewall Settings.

  4. Select On.

  5. Click OK.

Get the latest computer updates

Updates help protect your computer from viruses, worms, and other threats as they are discovered. You can use the Automatic Updates feature in Windows XP to automatically download future Microsoft security updates while your computer is on and connected to the Internet.

To turn on Automatic Updates in Windows XP

  1. Click Start, and click Control Panel

  2. Click System.

  3. Click Automatic Updates.

  4. Select a setting. Microsoft recommends selecting Automatic. If you do not choose Automatic, but you choose to be notified when updates are ready, a notification balloon appears when new downloads are available to install. Click the notification balloon to review and install the updates.

Use up-to-date antivirus software

Most antivirus software can detect and prevent infection by known malicious software. To help protect your computer from infection, you should always run antivirus software that is updated with the latest signature files. Antivirus software is available from various sources. For more information, see

Use caution with attachments and file transfers

Exercise caution with e-mail and attachments received from unknown sources, or received unexpectedly from known sources.  Use extreme caution when accepting file transfers from known or unknown sources.


Nothing new here and the threat is so old that Vista doesn't even get mentioned! So, keep you Windows Defender updated, run and keep updated Anti-Virus, Run a firewall (such as the one built in to Windows XP SP3, and Windows Vista).


Now if the BBC and others would report this wouldn't it be more helpful - if just a little less worthy of headlines??

Comments (2)

  1. Anonymous says:

    This isn’t something that I would normally bother blogging on – and from the lack of recent posts you

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