Most antivirus programs identify winsock32.exe as malware—e.g. Kaspersky identifies it as Trojan.Win32.Inject.alo, and Microsoft identifies it as Backdoor:Win32/Poison.M.
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The winsock32.exe process does not have any vendor information.
Description: Winsock32.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. The winsock32.exe file is located in a not identifiable folder.
The file size on Windows 10/8/7/XP is 0 bytes.
The program has a visible window. There is no description of the program. The software starts upon Windows startup (see Registry key: MACHINE\Run). The file is not a Windows core file. File is hidden. Therefore the technical security rating is 85% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.
Recommended: Identify winsock32.exe related errors
Important: You should check the winsock32.exe process on your PC to see if it is a threat. We recommend Security Task Manager for verifying your computer's security. This was one of the Top Download Picks of The Washington Post and PC World.
The following programs have also been shown useful for a deeper analysis: ASecurity Task Manager examines the active winsock32 process on your computer and clearly tells you what it is doing. Malwarebytes' well-known Banti-malware tool tells you if the winsock32.exe on your computer displays annoying ads, slowing it down. This type of unwanted adware program is not considered by some antivirus software to be a virus and is therefore not marked for cleanup.
A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding PC trouble. This means running a scan for malware, cleaning your hard drive using 1cleanmgr and 2sfc /scannow, 3uninstalling programs that you no longer need, checking for Autostart programs (using 4msconfig) and enabling Windows' 5Automatic Update. Always remember to perform periodic backups, or at least to set restore points.