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

This is an encrypted Word macro-virus. It contains nine macros: PRiZM, AutoExec, AutoOpen, FileOpen, FileSave, FilePrint, FileSaveAs, ToolsMacro, and FileTemplates.

It is based on the "Word.Cap" virus, has a similar structure and instructions set. It replicates upon document opening, closing, and saving.

While printing, the virus appends a string to the end of the document that is printed:

Battle of life. Capital!!!

The virus has an unusual method of infection. While infecting, the virus performs several steps, uses the system registry, and drops an additional EXE file. The infection routine is placed in the virus' code as a set of text strings that are DDE (Dynamic Data Exchange) instructions. If needed, the virus executes them, and these instructions copy the virus' code to target the documents and templates.

To execute its DDE instructions, the virus saves them to the system registry in the "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT###fileshellopenddeexec". The virus then registers a new extension "###", and sets DDEEXEC as a handler of files with such an extension.

The virus then creates a randomly named EXE file in the Windows temporary directory, and writes a short program into it. This program only creates and opens the "PRiZM.###" file. This file-name extension is linked with DDEEXEC, and as a result, Windows activates the virus, DDE instructions, executes them and they copy the virus code to a victim file.

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