I wanted to bring this to your attention.
The U.S. Department of Energy Computer Incident Advisory Capability
Web posted February 2, 1999.
The U.S. Department of Energy Computer Incident Advisory Capability
W97M.Footprint Macro Virus Detected
February 2, 1999 19:00 GMT Number
PROBLEM: A new word 97 macro virus has been detected at a DOE site and is known to have been in documents sent to other sites. It is not yet detected by most antivirus tools.
PLATFORM: Windows 95, or Windows NT running Microsoft Word 97 (version 8). Word 98 on the Macintosh is probably not susceptible as the virus explicitly writes to the C: hard drive which does not exist on the Macintosh.
DAMAGE: Overwrites the footers on all open documents. It also overwrites all macros in open documents and open and attached templates with the macro virus code.
SOLUTION: Use an updated antivirus product when one is available. Until then, password the normal.dot file, turn on macro virus detection in Word, and take care when opening files containing macros.
VULNERABILITY: Risk of infection is high because this virus has been seen in
ASSESSMENT: the wild within the DOE complex. The risk of damage is low, because most users do not have macros in files and would be alerted by Word's macro detector. Also fixing damaged footers in Word documents is a relatively easy task.
The W97M.Footprint Word macro virus has been seen within the DOE complex. This macro virus attaches to Word objects in Word 97 in much the same way as W97M.Class. Because of this method of infection, this virus will not infect older versions of Microsoft Word. When an infected document is opened, the virus writes the body of the virus code into two files:
Finding these two files on a system indicates the system has been infected. The virus then tests the currently open documents for a custom property:
Property Name Value
If the property exists, the virus knows the file has already been infected. If the property does not exist, the virus creates the custom property, overwrites the document footer with the document path, deletes any existing macros attached as Word objects, and copies the virus macro into the file. The virus then deletes all the macros attached as Word objects in all attached document templates and copies itself into the templates as well.
Detecting The Virus
Finding the two footprint files in the root directory of the C: drive is strong evidence that the virus has infected a system. If you open a document and the Word macro virus protection detects a macro in the document being opened, disable the macro and then use the File, Properties command to see the document properties. Check the Custom tab and if a custom property named: FootNote1 exists the document has been infected. We expect that most antivirus scanners will be updated to detect this virus in the near future.
Protecting A System
To protect a system from this and other Word macro viruses, the normal.dot file should be password protected and macro virus protection should be turned on.
Password Protecting The Normal.dot File
To password protect the Normal.dot file in Word 97, perform these steps:
1. Start Word.
The next time you start Word, the normal.dot template will be protected.
WARNING: If you ever have to type in the password to make changes to the normal.dot file be aware that the file remains unprotected until you quit Word and restart it.
Turning On Macro Virus Protection
Some simple macro virus protection is built into Word 97. It does not detect specific macro viruses but only informs you if macros exist on a document you are trying to open. Macros detected by Macro Virus Protection are not necessarily a virus. However, if you are alerted to a macro attached to a document you should be extremely wary because most people do not have macros attached to their documents.
To turn on macro virus protection, perform these steps:
1. Start Word.
Whenever you open a document that contains macros, the macro virus protection opens a dialog box telling you that there are macros in the document and giving you the option to: Open the document with the macros enabled, open the document without the macros, or cancel the open operation. You should only open a document with macros enabled if you are expecting there to be macros on that document and you know what they are supposed to do.
Manual Cleaning of a System
Until the commercial antivirus scanners are able to detect and clean this virus, it can be cleaned by hand using the following procedures. The procedure assumes that your copy of Word is not infected with the virus. If your copy of Word is infected, it must be cleaned first. The Word program is not actually infected with a macro virus, it is the normal.dot file that Word loads at startup that is infected.
To clean a copy of Microsoft Word that has been infected with a macro virus, perform these steps:
1. Start Word.
To clean a document infected with a macro virus, perform these steps:
1. Make sure the Normal.dot template is locked.
CIAC, the Computer Incident Advisory Capability, is the computer security incident response team for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the emergency backup response team for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). CIAC is located at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California. CIAC is also a founding member of FIRST, the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams, a global organization established to foster cooperation and coordination among computer security teams worldwide.
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