Also known as: Virus:W32/Sality, Virus.Win32.Sality, Win32.sality, Spyware.Pws.A, Win32.sality.e
Variants: Sality.A, Sality.R, Sality.Y, Sality.AG, Sality.AT, Sality.M, and many others
Damage potential: Malware infection, file corruption and loss, system performance issues, network connectivity problems, unauthorized access, data theft
Sality is a computer virus that can infect files on a Windows system. It spreads by attaching to executable files and can change its code to avoid detection by antivirus software. Once infected, Sality can cause various damage, such as corrupting files, disrupting the system’s performance, stealing sensitive data, and spreading to other computers on a network.
The most common symptoms of a Sality infection are slow system performance and disabled antivirus software or other security tools. Sality is known for blocking cybersecurity tools to prevent the device from detecting the virus.
Other symptoms of a Sality infection include:
- Your computer becoming slow, with programs taking longer to start or respond.
- Your computer crashing, freezing, or causing unexpected restarts.
- Unusual network behavior or higher internet data usage on your device.
- Unexpected system behavior or errors when trying to open files or perform tasks.
- High CPU memory usage when not doing much due to background processes.
- Automatic updates turning off for no reason, creating gaps in your security.
Sources of the infection
Sality typically infects devices when a user executes or opens an infected file. These files may spread in several different ways, from infected downloads (e.g., pirated software and cracked games) to email attachments.
Other common ways Sality may infect your device include:
Drive-by downloads. Sality may exploit vulnerabilities in browsers or outdated software to automatically download malware onto the user’s device.
Removable drives. Sality may spread by infecting executable files on removable drives, such as USBs or external hard drives.
Network shares. Sality may search for and exploit vulnerable systems to propagate or gain unauthorized access.
Removing Sality from an infected system can be challenging due to its polymorphic nature and ability to evade antivirus software. Specialized antiviruses and malware removal software may detect and remove Sality. , and scan your downloading files and delete them if malware is found.
You can protect your devices from Sality and other viruses by improving your digital security habits. The Sality virus can spread in many ways, but the most common are infected downloads. Make sure you’re especially cautious when browsing and downloading files.
Here’s how to protect yourself from Sality infections:
Don’t open suspicious email attachments. Avoid opening email attachments from unknown senders or unexpected sources. Even if you know the sender, don’t open attachments if they appear unusual.
Browse with caution. Avoid clicking suspicious links, visiting dubious websites, or downloading content from untrusted sources. If prompted to install or execute something while browsing, decline until you know it’s safe.
Only download apps from trusted sources. Go to official app stores and websites to download apps or programs. Official platforms will do more to ensure the downloads are safe and malware-free.
Use NordVPN’s Threat Protection. This advanced cybersecurity feature blocks malicious sites, preventing drive-by downloads. Additionally, it scans files you download for malware to protect you from potentially dangerous downloads.