Definitions for "Macro Virus"
A "macro" is a saved set of instructions that users may create or edit to automate tasks within certain applications or systems. A Macro Virus is a malicious macro that a user may execute inadvertently and that may cause damage or replicate itself. Some macros replicate, while others infect documents. Unlike other virus types, macro viruses aren't specific to an operating system and spread with ease via email attachments, floppy disks, Web downloads, file transfers, and cooperative applications. Macro viruses are typically written in Visual Basic and are relatively easy to create. They can infect at different points during a file's use (for example, when a file is opened, saved, closed, or deleted).
Macros have been around for a long time. They are little scripts that record what a user does. For example, a macro could be made to change to a different printer on a network, perform a special find and replace function, etc. With the release of Word 6.X and Excel, users figured out how to modify and program complex macros with destructive and stealth functions. Macro viruses are macros that are able to copy themselves (spread) into other documents and sometimes carry out malicious functions. Macros only run in applications that support them. Right now the bulk of macro viruses are for Word and Excel documents, with just one for Access and a few others for Lotus AmiPro. They are not OS specific either, they work on BOTH Mac and PC computers.
A macro is a short program used to automate several steps of an application or system and is typically written in Visual Basic. A macro virus is a program typically written in the same language as a macro that can spread via infected files such as documents, spreadsheets, etc. This virus can infect a file at times of opening, saving, closing or deleting.
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