We’ve still more info on the MelissaW virus that can pose a threat to Office 2001 for the Mac users. (See our Jan. 18 reports,
Melissa virus hits Office 2001
Symantec expects MelissaW fix tomorrow, for details.)
Sophos, a company that makes anti-virus software for the according to Graham Cluley, head of corporate communications at Sophos, told MacCentral. According to the
MelissaW will be detected by Sophos Anti-Virus March 2001 (version 3.43) or later. A virus identity (IDE) file is available for earlier versions from the latest
virus identities section.
However, Sophos Anti-Virus January 2001 (version 3.41) needs to have “full scan mode” enabled to detect MelissaW. The next version of Sophos Anti-Virus (February 2001, version 3.42) won’t require “full scan mode” to be enabled.
Melissa-X is an infected Microsoft Office 2001 file. According to the folks at Sophos, it appears that this virus variant came about when a Mac user who had a file infected with WM97/Melissa-X, saved it using Office 2001. The file (ANNIV.DOC) was then sent to a colleague running Microsoft Office 97 or 2000. When the file was opened the viral macro code ran (even though the file format was still Office 2001), and the mass-mailing part of the virus code executed. Although this virus was originally created in a Macintosh version of Word, it can also infect Microsoft Word users running Windows.
Karen Sung, spokesperson for Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit, told MacCentral that it looks like the latest strain of the Melissa virus is not specifically targeted at Mac Office users but is just that, another Word Macros virus. To remedy this a dialog box pops up to warn people that there are Macros in the document, and the warning states that there maybe a virus.
“People can either open the document, open it with the Macros disabled, or not open the document,” Sung said. “Users should also download updates to their scanners to be safe.”