Virus Profile: W97M/

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Virus Profile information details
Risk Assessment: Home Low | Corporate Low
Date Discovered: 8/1/1999
Date Added: 10/4/1999
Origin: N/A
Length: N/A
Type: Virus
Subtype: Macro
DAT Required: 4040
Removal Instructions


This is a virus detection. Viruses are programs that self-replicate recursively, meaning that infected systems spread the virus to other systems, which then propagate the virus further. While many viruses contain a destructive payload, it's quite common for viruses to do nothing more than spread from one system to another.

Indication of Infection

Message box as mentioned above, macro warning when opening infected documents in non-infected sysystem.

Methods of Infection

Opening infected document will directly infect the global template NORMAL.DOT which will infect any document used in the Word environment.



Virus Characteristics

The W97M/Marker.AE virus was first listed as 'In The Wild' on The WildList in September 1999.

W97M/Marker.AE is quite different than W97M/Marker.C and W97M/Marker.D - two other 'Marker' variants also listed on The WildList.

W97M/Marker.AE is identical to W97/Marker.O with the following exceptions:

  1. W97M/Marker.AE includes the CommandButton11_Click() event handler. If called upon, this function attempts to print pages 19-46 of the active document.
  2. W97M/Marker.AE includes the CommandButton12_Click() event handler. If called upon, this function attempts to print pages 47-87 of the active document.
  3. W97M/Marker.AE includes the Main_Click() event handler. If called upon, this function attempts to print pages 1-18 of the active document.


W97M/Marker.AE infects Word 97 documents. It will turn off the macro warning feature of Word 97. This virus consists of a module called ThisDocument.

W97M/Marker.AE will infect MS-Word's NORMAL.DOT file

W97M/Marker.AE changes the document properties title to 'Are You suprised ? [sic]', subject to 'Birthday', author to 'LSK', category to 'You are Infected', keywords to 'Birthday' and comments to 'Shankar's Birthday falls on the 25th July. Don't Forget to wish him'. These changes are not reversed during cleaning because VirusScan has no way of knowing what they were before they were modified. To change them back, open the document, then choose File, then Properties.

W97M/Marker.AE contains the following string (which is never displayed to the screen) in its code:

":-D you are marked!"

Upon closing a document, if the date is the 23rd or greater and the month is July (in other words when the date is July 23rd through July 31), the virus displays a message box.


If the user clicks the 'No' answer box, a message is displayed.

Upon creating a new document, an animation is displayed to the screen. The animation is made up of large block letters that spell out 'Happy Birthday Shankar'. However, because the font size is so large (72pt) - on computers with a lower display resolution - 'Happy' may scroll off the top of the screen. The letters in the message are green in color with an animated sparkling background.


All Users :
Script,Batch,Macro and non memory-resident:
Use current engine and DAT files for detection and removal.

PE,Trojan,Internet Worm and memory resident :
Use specified engine and DAT files for detection. To remove, boot to MS-DOS mode or use a boot diskette and use the command line scanner:


Additional Windows ME/XP removal considerations

Users should not trust file icons, particularly when receiving files from others via P2P clients, IRC, email or other mediums where users can share files.

AVERT Recommended Updates :

* Office2000 Updates

* Malformed Word Document Could Enable Macro to Run Automatically (Information/Patch )

* scriptlet.typelib/Eyedog vulnerability patch

* Outlook as an email attachment security update

* Exchange 5.5 post SP3 Information Store Patch 5.5.2652.42 - this patch corrects detection issues with GroupShield

For a list of attachments blocked by the Outlook patch and a general FAQ, visit this link .
Additionally, Network Administrators can configure this update using an available tool - visit this link for more information .

It is very common for macro viruses to disable options within Office applications for example in Word, the macro protection warning commonly is disabled. After cleaning macro viruses, ensure that your previously set options are again enabled.


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