How to fight annoying, fast- spreading macro viruses.
Though the possibility of a cross-platform virus moving as interpreted commands in data documents has been considered by computer experts, none had been seen in the user community until this month's discovery that a new virus was spreading within document macros interpreted by Microsoft's WordBasic macro language
In TidBITS-292, we reported on a cross-platform virus written in WordBasic that affected some users of Microsoft Word 6.0, mostly on non-Macintosh platforms
More Word Macro Viruses -- According to a recent CIAC bulletin, new Microsoft Word macro viruses have been discovered, and at least two of the new varieties are damaging
Last week in TidBITS-382, I wrote a short piece warning people not to become complacent about viruses on the Macintosh. I received a number of notes, including one thanking me for the article (the reader ran Disinfectant, which promptly found virus infestations on his hard disk)
The point of many viruses, macro or otherwise, is to annoy people, waste time, and generally eat bandwidth of various sorts. That's ironic, given the amount of space the topic consumes whenever it appears in the press (see TidBITS-383)
I know I said I wouldn't write more about macro viruses a number of issues ago, but I couldn't resist passing on these useful pieces of information.
Michael Gibbs comments:
An ironic aspect of your warning regarding virus-infected disks from "official" sources is that most application installers recommend that you disable extensions, in many cases disabling your Mac's immune system