August 2020 – A Macro virus that first attacked Macs in 2017 by injecting lethal code into Mac OS still harasses the Mac user community. This type of virus is malware programmed in a similar code used for Word processing applications. It embeds itself in Word program and affects all other documents using the Word program. Developers use macro mostly in Excel and Word applications to swiftly run the programs when open. Since the virus attacks the macros in the application, it can also infect the MacOS with the software application. When a macro virus infects your Mac, it can damage all the documents and the system. Thus, it is crucial to identify and remove macro virus before it compromises your sensitive data.
How it Works
Macro viruses embed a lethal code in the applications that support Word processing files. These malicious codes run immediately after you open the documents. It works by performing numerous tasks, such as creating infected files, corrupting information, moving or sending malicious files, and formatting your hard drive. The primary objective of a macro virus is to deliver dangerous malware through the sharing of infected documents.
How it Spreads
Users should note that macro viruses mostly attack software programs. When the virus implants itself on the macros, it becomes active when you open the document and infects all the files in your system functioning with macros. Then, the virus starts sending phishing emails to all contacts in the address book. Since the person who receives the mail will know it is from a trusted source, he/she will immediately click the attachment and open the file. The virus moves and infects all the files on the Mac system.
Whenever you open or close an infected file, the virus continues to spread. It is a subtle malware and can be challenging to identify and eliminate from your machine due to the implanting capability in numerous documents.
Types of Macro Virus
The virus is available in several forms. Although most users may think that it is an old virus from the 90s, which is not quite dangerous, it has evolved to become lethal. Users must now take extra precautions to keep their systems safe from malware. Below are two types of macro virus:
It was the first macro virus that appeared in the 90s and attacked word programs. It eventually became the leading malware targeting applications.
In the late 90s, the macro virus progressed to have email worms that spread faster through the web, infecting many computers within a short time.
How to Eliminate the Macro Virus
While you can use a stand-alone antivirus to identify and eliminate the virus, you can also get rid of it manually. If you suspect your machine is under attack, open the document in safe mode. This enables you to identify the virus and eliminate it from the system manually.
After opening in safe mode, click on view on the toolbar, proceed to “Macros,” “Organizer,” then click on the file and press “Delete.”
Macro viruses subtly attack Mac devices, making it difficult for users to notice the warning signs. Protect your system by using an efficient antivirus, installing new security updates, and regularly updating your macOS.