With all the news today being focused on data breaches like Facebook, Yahoo!, and others that number in the millions of accounts, we hardly ever hear about viruses affecting home computers. Unfortunately, there’s a very nasty virus that’s just made it onto the scene. It doesn’t have an official name yet as far as I can find, but so far it’s easy to spot. Unfortunately it steals all the passwords it can, so it’s important to watch out for it.
This new virus is finding it’s way around in email attachments, so far just using Word and Excel documents. When the document is opened, all it says is “This document was created in an earlier version of Word/Excel, please enable Macros to view the document.” However, enabling Macros allows the attacker to bypass protections – including Anti-Virus! No regular document, invoice, payment confirmation, or almost any other document ever needs Macros.
Microsoft does warn you when it comes up with a small bar at the top saying Macros are disabled, as it was an email attachment or from the internet. However, some users have ignored the warning just wanting to see the document, and that’s what they are counting on. Unless you know exactly what Macros are for and that you need them, never enable them! Any document telling you it requires Macros is most often a virus of some sort.