Re: WinWord and Anti-Virus Macros

Subject: Re: WinWord and Anti-Virus Macros
From: Beryl Doane <BDoane -at- ENGPO -dot- MSMAILGW -dot- INTERMEC -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 1996 09:35:00 PST

In response to my post, Paul Nagai wrote:

>This is fine so long as you are aware that you are vulnerable to attack
>a WinWord virus (or trojan horse if you want to be technical about it) that
>is not as benign as the Prank macro.

>You run the risk of losing data to a new WinWord macro virus that deletes
>files, formats hard drives, or, worse, corrupts data files without raising
>any red flags ... perhaps escaping undetected long enough to survive a
>backup cycle.

>I'm not that trusting.

Yes, without the protection macros, I am vulnerable to new (potentially
viruses. However, in my daily work flow, I work more with *my own* files,
I have already scanned, than I do with someone else's files. Everyone in my
department has also run the protection macros. For my own sanity and
productivity, I need my macros more than I need pseudo-protection.

I choose to use my software tools to fit my working style, not to adapt
to a lame protection scheme. I can easily rerun the protection macro
I open any foreign docs. (Maybe I'll write my own macro for quickly
after a scan...)

The protection macros only catch *known* virus macros. There is no way to
protect against a new virus macro. After the initial scan, the protection
from MS provides an alert for doc files that contain any macros, benign or
dangerous. It cannot tell you if the macros in a doc are safe, and it does
prevent you from opening a doc with its macros. This is like your mother
warning you to bundle up in cold weather. Sometimes it is useful advice;
sometimes it is not.

Practice safe computing, and beware of anyone else's files. Bundle up, and
look both ways before you cross the street.

Beryl Doane
bdoane -at- intermec -dot- com

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