- 14 June 1998
- 13 February 2007
- Also Known As:
- Systems Affected:
This virus affects Microsoft Excel and Word documents.
The basic set of VBA5 module is:
AutoClose and AutoExit do the infection in MS Word while Auto_Open does the infection in MS Excel. The others simply intercept MS Word and MS Excel menu without doing anything. The infection routine works as follow:
While closing an infected MS Word document, the virus deletes PERSONAL.XLS from MS Excel 97's XLSTART directory. Then, it creates an infected PERSONAL.XLS in the XLSTART directory. The virus infects MS Word Global Template and document on closing a document or exiting from MS Word.
The infection in MS Excel is pretty obvious since PERSONAL.XLS is not hidden. After launching MS Excel, a user can see PERSONAL.XLS being opened. Opening any Excel spreadsheet will trigger the infection routine. This time, the virus deletes existing NORMAL.DOT from MSOFFICE\TEMPLATE directory. Then, it creates an infected NORMAL.DOT in TEMPLATE directory.
Since both MS Word and MS Excel uses VBA5 in MS Office 97, this virus is able to use one VBA5 module to infect both MS Word 97 and MS Excel 97 files.
Symantec Security Response encourages all users and administrators to adhere to the following basic security "best practices":
- Use a firewall to block all incoming connections from the Internet to services that should not be publicly available. By default, you should deny all incoming connections and only allow services you explicitly want to offer to the outside world.
- Enforce a password policy. Complex passwords make it difficult to crack password files on compromised computers. This helps to prevent or limit damage when a computer is compromised.
- Ensure that programs and users of the computer use the lowest level of privileges necessary to complete a task. When prompted for a root or UAC password, ensure that the program asking for administration-level access is a legitimate application.
- Disable AutoPlay to prevent the automatic launching of executable files on network and removable drives, and disconnect the drives when not required. If write access is not required, enable read-only mode if the option is available.
- Turn off file sharing if not needed. If file sharing is required, use ACLs and password protection to limit access. Disable anonymous access to shared folders. Grant access only to user accounts with strong passwords to folders that must be shared.
- Turn off and remove unnecessary services. By default, many operating systems install auxiliary services that are not critical. These services are avenues of attack. If they are removed, threats have less avenues of attack.
- If a threat exploits one or more network services, disable, or block access to, those services until a patch is applied.
- Always keep your patch levels up-to-date, especially on computers that host public services and are accessible through the firewall, such as HTTP, FTP, mail, and DNS services.
- Configure your email server to block or remove email that contains file attachments that are commonly used to spread threats, such as .vbs, .bat, .exe, .pif and .scr files.
- Isolate compromised computers quickly to prevent threats from spreading further. Perform a forensic analysis and restore the computers using trusted media.
- Train employees not to open attachments unless they are expecting them. Also, do not execute software that is downloaded from the Internet unless it has been scanned for viruses. Simply visiting a compromised Web site can cause infection if certain browser vulnerabilities are not patched.
- If Bluetooth is not required for mobile devices, it should be turned off. If you require its use, ensure that the device's visibility is set to "Hidden" so that it cannot be scanned by other Bluetooth devices. If device pairing must be used, ensure that all devices are set to "Unauthorized", requiring authorization for each connection request. Do not accept applications that are unsigned or sent from unknown sources.
- For further information on the terms used in this document, please refer to the Security Response glossary.
The following instructions pertain to all current and recent Symantec antivirus products, including the Symantec AntiVirus and Norton AntiVirus product lines.
- Disable System Restore (Windows Me/XP).
- Update the virus definitions.
- Run a full system scan and repair all the files detected as O97M.Teocatl.
For specific details on each of these steps, read the following instructions.
1. To disable System Restore (Windows Me/XP)
If you are running Windows Me or Windows XP, we recommend that you temporarily turn off System Restore. Windows Me/XP uses this feature, which is enabled by default, to restore the files on your computer in case they become damaged. If a virus, worm, or Trojan infects a computer, System Restore may back up the virus, worm, or Trojan on the computer.
Windows prevents outside programs, including antivirus programs, from modifying System Restore. Therefore, antivirus programs or tools cannot remove threats in the System Restore folder. As a result, System Restore has the potential of restoring an infected file on your computer, even after you have cleaned the infected files from all the other locations.
Also, a virus scan may detect a threat in the System Restore folder even though you have removed the threat.
For instructions on how to turn off System Restore, read your Windows documentation, or one of the following articles:
- How to disable or enable Windows Me System Restore
- How to turn off or turn on Windows XP System Restore
Note: When you are completely finished with the removal procedure and are satisfied that the threat has been removed, re-enable System Restore by following the instructions in the aforementioned documents.
For additional information, and an alternative to disabling Windows Me System Restore, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article, Antivirus Tools Cannot Clean Infected Files in the _Restore Folder, Article ID: Q263455.
2. To update the virus definitions
Symantec Security Response fully tests all the virus definitions for quality assurance before they are posted to our servers. There are two ways to obtain the most recent virus definitions:
- Running LiveUpdate, which is the easiest way to obtain virus definitions: These virus definitions are posted to the LiveUpdate servers once each week (usually on Wednesdays), unless there is a major virus outbreak. To determine whether definitions for this threat are available by LiveUpdate, refer to the Virus Definitions (LiveUpdate).
- Downloading the definitions using the Intelligent Updater: The Intelligent Updater virus definitions are posted daily. You should download the definitions from the Symantec Security Response Web site and manually install them. To determine whether definitions for this threat are available by the Intelligent Updater, refer to the Virus Definitions (Intelligent Updater).
The Intelligent Updater virus definitions are available: Read "How to update virus definition files using the Intelligent Updater" for detailed instructions.
3. To scan for and repair the infected files
- Start your Symantec antivirus software and make sure that it is configured to scan all the files.
- For Norton AntiVirus consumer products: Read the document, "How to configure Norton AntiVirus to scan all files."
- For Symantec AntiVirus Enterprise products: Read the document, "How to verify that a Symantec corporate antivirus product is set to scan all files."
- Run a full system scan.
- If any files are detected as infected with O97M.Teocatl, click Repair.
Note: If your Symantec antivirus product reports that it cannot repair an infected file, Windows may be using the file. To fix this, run the scan in Safe mode. For instructions, read the document: How to start the computer in Safe Mode. Once you have restarted in Safe mode, run the scan again.
When all the infected files have been repaired, restart the computer in Normal mode.