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March 12, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:55pm

ORIGINAL MACRO VIRUS MAY HAVE COME FROM REDMOND ITSELF

By CBR Staff Writer

Rumors are making the rounds of the anti-virus community that the original macro virus – the first infection to attack an NT system – was written by none other than a Microsoft Corp consultant, hears ClieNT Server News. As the story goes, the perpetrator thought up the concept of using Microsoft Office macros as a prank, thus the name of the first virus – word.concept. The bug proved more infectious than anticipated, rapidly spreading to hundreds of personal computers in Redmond, and eventually finding its way onto a Microsoft developer CD. The fate of the supposed inventor is unknown – if the story is true, Redmond’s not telling – but the rest is history. New macro viruses, many far more malignant than the original, which did no fatal damage though it was annoying, now pop up daily, even hourly. Defeating the macros has spawned an entire sub-industry in the virus community. The latest alert came from McAfee Associates Inc, which last week tracked down the first macro that’s specifically tuned to Microsoft Mail. After it’s opened in Word 6 or 7, the new ShareFun virus reads a user’s electronic mail directory and automatically transmits itself to three addresses chosen at random, looking for all the world like a legitimate piece of mail from someone the recipient already knows. The only tip-off a victim has is that the message’s subject line reads You have GOT to read this!

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