What is WINELOADER Backdoor

WINELOADER is a modular backdoor malware that has recently been observed targeting European officials, particularly those with connections to Indian diplomatic missions. This backdoor is part of a sophisticated cyber-espionage campaign dubbed SPIKEDWINE, which is characterized by its low volume and advanced tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs). The campaign uses social engineering, leveraging a fake wine-tasting event invitation to lure victims into initiating the malware’s infection chain. WINELOADER is a previously undocumented backdoor that is modular in design, meaning it has separate components that can be independently executed and updated. The backdoor is capable of executing commands from a command-and-control (C2) server, injecting itself into other dynamic-link libraries (DLLs), and updating the sleep interval between beacon requests to the C2 server. The malware uses sophisticated evasion techniques, such as encrypting its core module and subsequent modules downloaded from the C2 server, re-encrypting strings dynamically, and employing memory buffers to store results from API calls. It also replaces decrypted strings with zeroes after use to avoid detection by memory forensics tools.

WINELOADER Backdoor

How WINELOADER Backdoor infected your system

The infection chain begins with a socially engineered PDF file that masquerades as an invitation from the Ambassador of India to a wine-tasting event. The PDF contains a malicious link that, when clicked, redirects the user to a compromised website hosting a ZIP archive. This archive contains an HTML Application (HTA) file with obfuscated JavaScript code that retrieves an encoded ZIP archive bearing the WINELOADER backdoor from the same domain. The malware is then executed through a multi-stage process that involves DLL hollowing to inject WINELOADER into a randomly selected DLL from the Windows system directory. Notably, the malware avoids injecting into DLLs that contain exported functions used by the malware itself.

  1. Download WINELOADER Backdoor Removal Tool
  2. Use Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool to remove WINELOADER Backdoor
  3. Use Autoruns to remove WINELOADER Backdoor
  4. Files, folders and registry keys of WINELOADER Backdoor
  5. Other aliases of WINELOADER Backdoor
  6. How to protect from threats, like WINELOADER Backdoor

Download Removal Tool

Download Removal Tool

To remove WINELOADER Backdoor completely, we recommend you to use SpyHunter. It can help you remove files, folders, and registry keys of WINELOADER Backdoor and provides active protection from viruses, trojans, backdoors. The trial version of SpyHunter offers virus scan and 1-time removal for FREE.

Download Alternative Removal Tool

Download Malwarebytes

To remove WINELOADER Backdoor completely, we recommend you to use Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. It detects and removes all files, folders, and registry keys of WINELOADER Backdoor and several millions of other malware, like viruses, trojans, backdoors.

Remove WINELOADER Backdoor manually

Manual removal of WINELOADER Backdoor by inexperienced users may become a difficult task because it does not create entries in Add/Remove Programs under Control Panel, does not install browser extensions, and uses random file names. However, there are pre-installed instruments in the Windows system, that allow you to detect and remove malware without using third-party applications. One of them is Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool. It comes with Windows Update in Windows 11, 10, 8. 8.1. For older operating system you can download it here: 64-bit version | 32-bit version.

Remove WINELOADER Backdoor using Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool

  1. Type mrt in the search box near Start Menu.
  2. Run mrt clicking on found item.
  3. Click Next button.
  4. Choose one of the scan modes Quick scan, Full scan, Customize scan (Full scan recommended).
  5. Click Next button.
  6. Click on View detailed results of the scan link to view the scan details.
  7. Click Finish button.

Remove WINELOADER Backdoor using Autoruns

WINELOADER Backdoor often sets up to run at Windows startup as an Autorun entry or Scheduled task.

  1. Download Autoruns using this link.
  2. Extract the archive and run Autoruns.exe file.
  3. In Options menu make sure there are checkboxes near Hide Empty Locations, Hide Microsoft Entries, and Hide Windows Entries.
  4. Search for suspicious entries with weird names or running from locations like: C:\{username}\AppData\Roaming.
  5. Right-click on suspicious entry and choose Delete. This will prevent the threat to run at startup.
  6. Switch to Scheduled Tasks tab and do the same.
  7. To remove files themselves, click on suspicious entries and choose Jump to Entry…. Remove files or registry keys found.

Remove files, folder and registry keys of WINELOADER Backdoor

WINELOADER Backdoor files and folders


{randomname}.exe

WINELOADER Backdoor registry keys


no information

Aliases of WINELOADER Backdoor

no information

How to protect from threats, like WINELOADER Backdoor, in future

bitdefender internet security

Standard Windows protection or any decent third-party antivirus (Norton, Avast, Kaspersky) should be able to detect and remove WINELOADER Backdoor. However, if you got infected with WINELOADER Backdoor with existing and updated security software, you may consider changing it. To feel safe and protect your PC from WINELOADER Backdoor on all levels (browser, e-mail attachments, Word or Excel scripts, file system) we recommend a leading provider of internet security solutions – BitDefender. Its solutions both for home and business users proved to be one of the most advanced and effective. Choose and get your BitDefender protection via the button below:

Download BitDefender

3. Do not open spam e-mails and protect your mailbox

mailwasher pro

Malicious attachments to spam or phishing e-mails are the most popular method of malware distribution. Using spam filters and creating anti-spam rules is good practice. One of the world leaders in anti-spam protection is MailWasher Pro. It works with various desktop applications and provides a very high level of anti-spam protection.

Download MailWasher Pro
Previous articleHow to remove StrelaStealer
Next articleHow to detect and remove Sign1 malware on WordPress site