The most common virus today…

Hackers are always evolving their attacks and the latest bugs have gone back to using social engineering to get into your PC.

A great example of social engineering is the Snow white virus from 2002, you can see the virus email below and you would not believe the number of people who clicked the attachment wanting to know what happened next.

Snow white

Hackers have gone back to social engineering because if your computer is up to date, like our customers computers are, the only way to get a virus is to trick you into running it, like with a word or excel macro.

Macros are disabled by default, but hackers are using a ruse to get you to enable macros. The current ploy we’re seeing is to show you a document with blurred, obscured, or garbled text, along with a message asking you to allowing macros to run to display the text correctly. See the two examples below.

social-engineering-macro1

Judging from the success of recent attacks, it appears this works.

maco-trick-640x340

Sadly, there’s not a lot we can do to prevent you from doing this, except to educate you not to enable macros for documents off the internet. While accountants and other professionals often rely on macros to do their jobs, you don’t need to enable macro’s on all documents and especially not for a random document you’ve been emailed.

If you receive a document in an e-mail, think twice about opening it at all and you should think doubly hard before enabling a macro. In the 10 or so years since Microsoft disabled macros by default, I’ve never needed to enable them for a document that I didn’t create.

Unfortunately, there are no patches for this kind of attack. Expect them to remain a part of the virus scene for the foreseeable future.

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