Parent class: VirWare

Viruses and worms are malicious programs that self-replicate on computers or via computer networks without the user being aware; each subsequent copy of such malicious programs is also able to self-replicate. Malicious programs which spread via networks or infect remote machines when commanded to do so by the “owner” (e.g. Backdoors) or programs that create multiple copies that are unable to self-replicate are not part of the Viruses and Worms subclass. The main characteristic used to determine whether or not a program is classified as a separate behaviour within the Viruses and Worms subclass is how the program propagates (i.e. how the malicious program spreads copies of itself via local or network resources.) Most known worms are spread as files sent as email attachments, via a link to a web or FTP resource, via a link sent in an ICQ or IRC message, via P2P file sharing networks etc. Some worms spread as network packets; these directly penetrate the computer memory, and the worm code is then activated. Worms use the following techniques to penetrate remote computers and launch copies of themselves: social engineering (for example, an email message suggesting the user opens an attached file), exploiting network configuration errors (such as copying to a fully accessible disk), and exploiting loopholes in operating system and application security. Viruses can be divided in accordance with the method used to infect a computer:
  • file viruses
  • boot sector viruses
  • macro viruses
  • script viruses
Any program within this subclass can have additional Trojan functions. It should also be noted that many worms use more than one method in order to spread copies via networks.

Class: Virus

Viruses replicate on the resources of the local machine. Unlike worms, viruses do not use network services to propagate or penetrate other computers. A copy of a virus will reach remote computers only if the infected object is, for some reason unrelated to the virus function, activated on another computer. For example: when infecting accessible disks, a virus penetrates a file located on a network resource a virus copies itself to a removable storage device or infects a file on a removable device a user sends an email with an infected attachment.

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Platform: MSVisio

No platform description


Technical Details

This is the first known macro-virus infecting Visio documents, stencils and templates (Visio is the system to create, edit and store business drawing and diagrams - see To automate data processing, Visio uses macro-programs written in VBA language (Visual Basic for Applications) - the same that is used in MS Office applications. As a result, the viruses in Visio are very similar to MS Office viruses, and they are able to infect Visio files in a very similar ways.

The virus itself is rather simple. It contains one procedure that is assigned with the "BeforeDocumentClose" event (it is activated upon document closing). When the virus procedure gains control, it enumerates and infects all opened documents. Because of the internal structure of Visio, the virus, while searching for documents, enumerates not only document files, but also stencils and templates as well.

The Visio stencils are similar to, for example, Word templates. These files contain library data for common use while creating and editing Visio documents. These stencils are automatically opened and processed by Visio in case of need (if a document uses them). In case these stencils are infected, the virus is loaded when a document accesses an infected stencil, and is activated upon this stencil's closing. At this moment, the virus infects all Visio files that are opened. As a result, if Visio stencils are infected, every document that is created or edited will be infect upon closing.

Because of this Visio feature, the virus can spread very quickly through Visio files.

The virus has a payload procedure: upon every launch, it creates the INDEX.HTML file in the root directory of the C: drive. This file contains following message:

       A Multitude of Suns
      Orbit in Empty Space
   They Speak with their light
       to all that is dark.
    To me they remain silent.

  Greets to all the VX Community
        And Radiant Angels



At the very end of the virus macro-code there is a short line of symbols (a comment). It seems this line is encrypted information about the virus author, but the type of cipher and the key used for encryption of the text string are unknown.

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