Virus Profile: W97M/Surround

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Virus Profile information details
Risk Assessment: Home Low | Corporate Low
Date Discovered: 12/15/1999
Date Added: 12/28/1999
Origin: N/A
Length: N/A
Type: Virus
Subtype: Macro
DAT Required: 4060
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

Existence of file Surround.key as mentioned above, deletion of file WIN.COM and message box on December 29 as mentioned above.

Methods of Infection

Opening infected documents will directly infect the local Word environment and any document used thereafter.


Surround.key, W97M/Surround.a, W97M/Surround.src

Virus Characteristics

*Note* AVERT-UK has received one sample as of time of this description.

This is a virus for Word 97 documents. It is able to replicate under the SR-1 and above release of Word 97. It will turn off the macro warning feature of Word 97. This virus consists of a single module named "Surround". This virus creates a temporary text file which contains the virus code in a file named "C:\Surround.key". This file has hidden and system attributes and is detected as "W97M/Surround.src".

If the day is December 21, during the infection routine the code instructs the computer to make a single "beep" sound. This virus also has a dangerous payload which is date activated. If the day is December 29 of any year, it attempts to delete the file WIN.COM searching the path "C:\WIN*\", at which time a message box will also appear with the following text:

"Virus information"
"You are now Surrounded!!"

Windows environments where Windows is not installed in this path or are running networked version are not affected.

This virus hooks the system event of opening documents in Word97 by the subroutine "Autoopen" thereby running its code. Another system event hooked is creation of new documents using the "New Document" icon within Word thereby running its code.

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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