Sophos detects new Microsoft virus threat

Sophos Press Release

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."

More than 100 million users in 150 countries rely on Sophos’ complete security solutions as the best protection against complex threats and data loss. Simple to deploy, manage, and use, Sophos’ award-winning encryption, endpoint security, web, email, mobile and network security solutions are backed by SophosLabs - a global network of threat intelligence centers. Sophos is headquartered in Oxford, U.K., and is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol “SOPH.” More information is available at www.sophos.com/company.