Word Macro Virus

Subject: Word Macro Virus
From: Bruce Conway <bconway -at- ISLAND -dot- NET>
Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 14:13:20 +0000

When I left Nortel (in April, 98) after much research by multiple levels
of Help personnel, SAM antivirus was touted by Nortel's Help Desk as
"the" one. Any antivirus program, however, is only as good as it is
current. This requires ensuring the "virus definition file" (SAM
terminology) is updated frequently. There are manual as well as online
methods of ensuring you've got the latest virus definitions file.

In the case of SAM, for example, it was the only one which tackled the
Word Macro virus, and its variants. The others may have followed suit,
but after some delay. The Word Macro Virus was the first known
cross-platform virus. That is, it crossed over from the PC to the Mac.

I think SAM only runs on Mac. Norton antivirus is used on the PC side
(and the Mac side?), but its virus definition file was updated in
reasonable time to handle the Word Macro Virus. I never got it straight
exactly what damage the Word Macro virus does. From the 250 or so
machines I looked at, all I could see was that it disabled the ability
to "Save As" into anything. That is, you couldn't save properly. Other
variants of the virus were supposed to exhibit more nefarious behaviour
- like erasing hard drives and the like. I never saw this, but it was
sufficient warning for us to scramble for the Web and make sure we had
the latest definitions file.

I'll remain corrected on anything in here that is not quite correct, and
will bow deeply (as usual) with respect, to any greater wisdom on the
Bruce Conway, B.A. (Math/Pol Sci) - Tech Writer/Communicator

Society for Technical Communication (STC)
Vancouver Island Adv. Technology Centre

RESUME: http://www.island.net/~bconway/resume.html
Email : bconway -at- island -dot- net

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