What is a Macro Virus?

Some computer viruses are very sneaky: you believe your device won’t get infected, but then your machine stops operating properly. Macro viruses are a sort of virus that can infect your device at any time. In this article, let's check how to avoid and eradicate Macro Viruses with specialized antivirus software.

What are Macro Viruses?

Macro viruses infect papers, spreadsheets, and other data files by inserting malicious code into macros. In July 1995, the first macro virus, Concept, was released, and since then, macro viruses have become increasingly popular.

Because it's coded in a macro language, it's known as a Macro Virus. A macro language, to put it simply, is a special-purpose command language that allows you to quickly automate specified sequences in specialized applications. Normally, this makes applications like Microsoft Word or Excel operate faster by triggering a sequence of activities with only a few keystrokes.

Viruses that target this macro language and introduce themselves into automated operations are known as macro viruses. Infected software may be forced to create new files, damage data, transfer text, send files, format hard drives, insert photos, and deliver additional viruses or malware, some of which may be far more harmful.

Ways by Which Macro Viruses Spread

Macro viruses are often spread through phishing emails that contain virus-infected attachments. The virus would get access to the recipient's address book files and send an infected email to everyone on the recipient's contact list.

Many receivers open the email because it appears to come from a reliable source. When an infected macro is run, it has the ability to infect all other documents on the user's machine.

When a user accesses or closes an infected document, macro infections propagate. They do not operate on operating systems, but rather on applications.

Here are some of the ways in which Macro Viruses spread −

  • Using a disc to share files

  • Using a network to share files

  • Using an email attachment to open a file

  • Using a modem to download a file and then opening it

  • Downloading and then opening a file from the Internet or an Intranet

  • Macro viruses, like many other types of viruses and malware, can be difficult to detect.

Once a macro virus has infected one document on your computer, it usually infects all other documents that are identical. You may need to remove all additional files of the same sort, as the macro virus has most likely already infected them. This can result in inconvenient situations and, in the worst-case scenario, lost time or income.

Types of Macro Viruses

Macro viruses come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Despite the fact that some believe them to be a relic of the late 1990s, they have made a comeback in recent years, necessitating users to be extra cautious.

  • Concept Virus - The first macro virus, Concept, was released in July 1995, and targeted Microsoft Word. Macro viruses eventually become the most common form of virus.

  • Melissa Virus - Melissa made history as the first macro virus with an email worm characteristic, infecting tens of thousands of people within hours of its release on March 26, 1999. It was one of the most devastating outbreaks in the history of the Internet.

What are the Signs of Macro Virus?

Here are the various symptoms that your computer may be infected with a macro virus −

  • Your computer is operating at a slower rate than usual.

  • On a file that ordinarily does not require a password, your computer prompts you for one.

  • Documents are saved as "template" files on your PC.

  • Strange problem messages appear on your PC.

Best Ways to Remove Macro Virus

To assist eradicate macro infections, it's a good idea to utilize a dependable protection program. Macros are restricted to download malware to your computer by most antivirus software.

Disabling Macros

Since macros are currently disabled by default in Microsoft Word and Excel, you must normally activate macros to trigger the infection. That implies that disabling macros is a simple way to avoid macro infections. If you get a document or a spreadsheet that asks you to execute macros, don't do it right away. Before you do anything, check with the individual who supplied you the file to see if macros are genuinely required.

Always be Cautious

Always be cautious of unexpected email attachments. They may be contaminated with a variety of viruses and malware.

Use Secure Passwords

Make sure that all of your accounts have secure and unique passwords. If your credentials are leaked in a data breach because they're the same everywhere, hackers might simply get access to your accounts and distribute macro viruses or other malware.

Use a Strong Antivirus

Make sure that you have a strong antivirus application installed to protect yourself from all types of cybercrime. Furthermore, if you suspect that a Word or Excel document includes a macro infection, follow these steps: While opening the document, hold down "Shift" key. It will now start in Safe Mode. It allows you to see if the document contains any macros. You may manually erase everything you discover.

In Microsoft Word 2010 or Microsoft Excel -

  • "View" should be selected

  • "Macros" should be selected.

  • "Organizer" is the option to choose.

  • Select the infected file from the dropdown menu and delete it.

How Can I Protect My PC from Being Infected by Macro Viruses?

The strongest defense against computer viruses and malware is Prevention. To help safeguard your computer, follow these guidelines −

  • Install updates to your computer security system to protect against new infections.

  • To provide best security, make sure your computer's operating system is updated on a regular basis. If you have Windows 8 and are being encouraged to upgrade to Windows 10, for example, do so.

  • Digital signatures should be used. They are able to locate download sources. You can be confident that the files you're downloading and executing are safe.

  • Select a renowned security program.

Thus, Macro Viruses are one of the most insidious methods to infect a computer.