Sophos has discovered the first virus to infect Microsoft Access
Files. Of the four main components of Microsoft Office 97, only
PowerPoint now remains free from virus attack. Sophos has upgraded
its existing software to provide protection against the new virus,
known as either "Access-Jerk1N" or "AM97/Accessiv". AM97/Accessiv operates
through the macro language in Microsoft's Access 97 database
product. As with the first Word virus, Winword/Concept, it is not
destructive, but searches for other Access databases to infect.
"While the appearance of any new virus type is interesting to
anti-virus researchers, users should not panic," said Paul Ducklin,
Head of Research at Sophos. "Generally speaking, Access databases
are not shared in the same way as document files, which are
routinely exchanged between employees and between companies by
email. This suggests that the explosion in prevalence of Word
viruses will not be emulated by Access-infecting viruses."
"This new virus does, however, serve to remind people that macro
viruses are not limited to Word and Excel," added Ducklin. "Any
application which offers a sufficiently powerful macro language is
susceptible to virus attack."