New Office macro virus found

The heat of the race to detect and nullify new viruses appears second only to the contest among virus fighters to be first with the cure.

Two antivirus software leaders, Symantec and Network Associates' McAfee division, have nabbed a new macro virus that threatens files created by Microsoft Office applications. Both have posted new definitions that detect and eradicate the 097M.Tristate macro virus.

You can download the new definitions for any Symantec antivirus product from LiveUpdate, the company's antivirus service, which pushes virus updates to registered Symantec customers.

"It's a scheduled component that checks frequently for new virus threats," says Enrique Salem, Symantec's chief technology officer.

Unregistered Symantec customers can get the new definitions from the Symantec AntiVirus Research Center on the company's Web site --

You can also eradicate the 097M.Tristate virus using McAfee's VirusScan updated with the most recent definition file, available on the company's Web site. VirusScan also will prompt you to periodically update your virus definitions data.

"Trendy" macro viruses

Macro viruses similar to 097M.Tristate are popular among virus writers, according to Symantec officials. The 097M.Tristate macro virus cross-infects Microsoft Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations.

The 097M.Tristate virus creates a viral workbook called BOOK1 in the Excel startup directory. In PowerPoint, 097M.Tristate adds a viral module that's linked to the AutoShape object covering an entire slide. During its final leg, 097M.Tristate replaces the content of an infected Word document with viral code.

Once considered the exclusive domain of research labs, macro viruses have transitioned into general circulation. Despite its prolific reproduction, Symantec classifies 097M.Triplicate as rare, saying it has yet to spread beyond the United States. The 097M.Tristate macro virus, also known as Triplicate and Crown, is currently the eighth most common virus submitted to Symantec's lab. The company's Scan & Deliver system has received 132 submissions of the 097M.Tristate virus in the past two weeks.

McAfee classifies 097M.Tristate as high risk. The virus apparently removes virus-warning protection from both Excel and Word.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments


Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >


Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >


Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >


Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?