Strangedays indeed - Sophos reports on cross-infecting virus in MS Office 97

June 17, 1998 Sophos Press Release

'StrangeDays' virus, migrates between Word and Excel files.

Sophos has just reported on a macro virus which migrates between Word and Excel environments. The Office 97 virus, named 'StrangeDays', contains a warhead which causes all files to be deleted on the 26th day of the month.

The virus is able to travel between the two environments because Word and Excel share the same macro language core, Visual Basic for Applications 5, in Office 97. "Previously, virus writers wanting to produce viruses for Office 95 and 97 have chosen to infect either Word documents or Excel spreadsheets," said Paul Ducklin, head of research at Sophos. "StrangeDays contains no Word or Excel specific code and is therefore a true Office 97 virus, able to cross-infect the two. The virus even includes code which attempts to automate such cross-infection. Fortunately, this code contains bugs and does not work correctly."

An analysis of the virus can be found at For information on all the very latest virus threats and to collect your free 'Data Security Pack', please visit Sophos at Networks 98, Stand 10H60, June 23-25, 1998 at the NEC, Birmingham.