Win32/Magania is a password stealing trojan that injects code into the "explorer.exe" process. The injected code varies according to the sample.

What to do now

To detect and remove this threat and other malicious software that may be installed on your computer, run a full-system scan with an appropriate, up-to-date, security solution. The following Microsoft products detect and remove this threat:

For more information on antivirus software, see

Threat behavior

Win32/Magania is a password stealing trojan that injects code into the "explorer.exe" process. The injected code varies according to the sample.
Win32/Magania usually arrives in the computer with a random file name. It is executed from its original location, usually in the Windows system folder.
It modifies the system registry so that it automatically runs every time Windows starts. In the wild, the following change has been observed:
Adds value: "SystemMgr"
With data: "<malware file name>"
To subkey: HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
Adds value: "Userinit"
With data: "<system folder>\userinit.exe,<malware file name>",
To subkey: HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
Note - <system folder> refers to a variable location that is determined by the malware by querying the Operating System. The default installation location for the System folder for Windows 2000 and NT is C:\Winnt\System32; and for XP, Vista, and 7 is C:\Windows\System32.
Injects code into processes
Win32/Magania injects code into the "explorer.exe" process. Depending on the variant, this code may be used to steal password information or download and execute additional files.
Analysis by Matt McCormack


Alert notifications or detections of this malware from installed antivirus or security software may be the only other symptom(s).


Take the following steps to help prevent infection on your computer:
  • Enable a firewall on your computer.
  • Get the latest computer updates for all your installed software.
  • Use up-to-date antivirus software.
  • Use caution when opening attachments and accepting file transfers.
  • Use caution when clicking on links to Web pages.
  • Avoid downloading pirated software.
  • Protect yourself against social engineering attacks.
  • Use strong passwords.
Enable a firewall on your computer
Use a third-party firewall product or turn on the Microsoft Windows Internet Connection Firewall.
Get the latest computer updates
Updates help protect your computer from viruses, worms, and other threats as they are discovered. It is important to install updates for all the software that is installed in your computer. These are usually available from vendor Web sites.
You can use the Automatic Updates feature in Windows to automatically download future Microsoft security updates while your computer is on and connected to the Internet.
Use up-to-date antivirus software
Most antivirus software can detect and prevent infection by known malicious software. To help protect you from infection, you should always run antivirus software, such as Microsoft Security Essentials, that is updated with the latest signature files. For more information, see
Use caution when opening attachments and accepting 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.
Use caution when clicking on links to Web pages
Exercise caution with links to Web pages that you receive from unknown sources, especially if the links are to a Web page that you are not familiar with, unsure of the destination of, or suspicious of. Malicious software may be installed in your computer simply by visiting a Web page with harmful content.
Avoid downloading pirated software
Threats may also be bundled with software and files that are available for download on various torrent sites. Downloading "cracked" or "pirated" software from these sites carries not only the risk of being infected with malware, but is also illegal. For more information, see 'The risks of obtaining and using pirated software'.
Protect yourself from social engineering attacks
While attackers may attempt to exploit vulnerabilities in hardware or software in order to compromise a computer, they also attempt to exploit vulnerabilities in human behavior in order to do the same. When an attacker attempts to take advantage of human behavior in order to persuade the affected user to perform an action of the attacker's choice, it is known as 'social engineering'. Essentially, social engineering is an attack against the human interface of the targeted computer. For more information, see 'What is social engineering?'.
Use strong passwords
Attackers may try to gain access to your Windows account by guessing your password. It is therefore important that you use a strong password – one that cannot be easily guessed by an attacker. A strong password is one that has at least 8 characters, and combines letters, numbers, and symbols. For more information, see

Alert level: Severe
This entry was first published on: Feb 27, 2010
This entry was updated on: Aug 16, 2011

This threat is also detected as:
  • PWS_Mmorpg!lx (McAfee)
  • Trojan.Win32.OnlineGames (Sunbelt Software)