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: MSWord

Microsoft Word (MS Word) is a popular word processor and part of Microsoft Office. Microsoft Word files have a .doc or .docx extension.


Technical Details

These are encrypted Word macro viruses. They contain three macros in NORMAL.DOT and infected files:

"Alien.a": AutoClose, AutoOpen, FileSaveAs
"Alien.b": AutoClose, AutoOpen, FileSaveas
These viruses infect the system global data area on opening an infected document and infect the files that are opened or closed. Before infecting the viruses perform several actions to check the file/system and avoid incorrect infection - they search for virus macros in files/system, check them for ExecuteOnly attribute and so on. Depending on these conditions the viruses set several flags, and depending on these flags they infect the file/system.

The viruses check the file name, and if it contains "ALIEN" substring, the viruses do not infect files and system.

The viruses also remove menu items "Tools/Customize..." and "Tools/Macro...". Other trigger routines are activated starting from:

"Alien.a" - Oct 1 1996
"Alien.b" - Jan 10 1997
Depending on the system random counter they display several messages and perform several actions. On August 1, with probability 1/2 they display the MessageBox:
Another Year of Survival ...
Then they try to hide Program Manager's window and terminate MS Word.

On Sundays, with probability 1/2 they display the MessageBox:

It's Sunday & I intend to relax !
and also try to hide Program Manager and terminate MS Word.

They also display the MessageBoxes with "Alien" title and the strings inside of box:

Never Open Others Files !
Never Trust An Alien !
Don't Believe All Tips !
Always Back Up Your Data."
Don't Believe The Hype !
Three Cheers For The Alien. Hip Hip Hooray !
I'll Be Back !
Hi Beautiful !
You Facinate Me.
Look No Further ...
The 'Alien' Virus Has Arrived !
The Alien Lives ...
If the file name length is less than 9, they display:
Tip From The Alien
Longer File Names Should Be Used
The viruses also contain "copyright" text:
End of Fun (All good (and bad) things DO come to an end !)
This Code was written in Chandigarh (India) on 01.08.1996
Behold the Alien Virus !! Lets See how it survives !

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