The macro virus from the nineties are back

For us that have been around some time, remember the problem we had with macro virus back in the days.

The classic virus attacks through macros in, example Office documents, has multiplied in recent years.

This virus is very often spread in documents. You receive a mail with a “safe” word document. When this is downloaded and open and only have normal text, it will fool many.

But in the background a script is running, and instruct the computer to download a ransom program.

It is believed to be as many of last year’s much-publicized ransomware attacker. Click Here to read more about this in an earlier article.

So what is macro virus

Macro virus are not dangerous in themselves, they are just like any other Trojan. Its a script to make a call  and get instructions to download the malicious code. It is designed to steal or encrypt something.

The first known Macro virus, was discovered in the spring 1999 and called Melissa.

The victim received an email with the heading “Important Message” and an Office 97 document as an attachment file.

But the one who opened the file did not get any useful information. Instead a macro started that didn’t had any other option, then to forward the mail to the first 50 in the contact list.

Melissa was not any evil virus, is was meant as a joke that got bigger than expected, and the author ended up in jail for 20 months.

So how can you protect you against this.

Microsoft chosen to change the default settings in Office so that macros did not run automatically. And that sorted the problem.

But now, 15 years later, and many have forgotten about this viruses, and many company have macro activated because it’s used to facilitate work process.

Almost all antivirus software protects against this thing. But you need to be sure is activated to search for macro.

Than you always have the classic, and almost 100% safe solution… Do never open up any attached file if you not sure what it is.