Macro viruses now half of top 10 viruses

Macro viruses continue to be a thorn in the side for PC users and now account for half of the most frequently seen infections in the UK.

According to statistics released by leading anti-virus software developer Dr. Solomon's, December 1997 saw five macro viruses in its top 10 list.

The most seen virus in December was the WM/Cap Word Macro virus while other macro viruses that infect Word also figure prominently: WM/Npad (third most popular), WM/Concept (seventh) and WM/Temple (eighth). The Excel macro virus XM/Laroux is tenth.

The rest of the top ten are orthodox boot sector viruses, comprising Empire Monkey.d (second), AntiEXE (fourth), Dodgy (fifth), Parity.b (sixth) and Form (ninth).

"1997 saw a proliferation of macro viruses," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Dr. Solomon's. "Macro viruses can attach themselves to files, usually Word documents or Excel spreadsheets, and spread to multiple platforms thus causing more damage more quickly. Email has been the greatest facilitator of this type of virus with users unknowingly passing on infected attachments both internally and externally to other organisations."