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05 June 2000
13 February 2007
Also Known As:
Macro.Office.Toraja.c, X97M.Toraja.c
Systems Affected:

O97M.Toraja.Gen is a macro virus, which infects Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel documents. In Word it infects the template, and in Excel it contaminates the \XLStart folder with an infected Excel workbook. Many standard menu functions are overridden, making them inaccessible.

NOTE: O97M.Toraja.Gen is a generic detection for viruses in the O97M.Toraja family. In some cases, Norton AntiVirus detects specific variants such as O97M.Toraja.C. The information in this writeup applies to the specific detections, as well as the generic detection.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version 06 June 2000
  • Latest Rapid Release version 20 August 2008 revision 017
  • Initial Daily Certified version 06 June 2000
  • Latest Daily Certified version 20 August 2008 revision 016
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date pending
Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.

When you open an infected document or workbook, O97M.Toraja.Gen does the following:
  1. It infects the file (Microsoft Word) or inserts a copy of the infected workbook in the \XLStart folder with the file name Start12.xls.
  2. All recently accessed documents are infected.
  3. O97M.Toraja.Gen searches for and deletes all but a few macro components, so that it is highly likely that O97M.Toraja.Gen is the only macro in the infected documents or workbooks. The components that are left alone are:
    • "ThisDocument"
    • "ThisWorkbook"
    • "Reference To Normal"
    • Components that start with "Sheet"
    • Components that start with "Chart"
    • The O97M.Toraja.Gen viral component
    When O97M.Toraja.Gen infects a system for the first time, the date is saved and the trigger date is set to a specific number of days (for example 30 days), after the infection date. When the trigger date is reached, messages may appear in the caption and in the status bar. The exact message depends on the exact month on which this is triggered. This can include the following messages:
      • Toraja High Land:
      • Note ... each file can be printed 5 times only: " (This is followed by a seconds counter.)

    After the initial infections, O97M.Toraja.Gen goes stealth by:
    • Disabling the VirusProtection option
    • Disabling the SaveNormalPrompt option
    • Disabling the shortcut key to the Macro menu
    • Disabling the shortcut key to the Visual Basic Editor
    • Locking and removing some CommandBars

    The following actions are overridden by O97M.Toraja.Gen:
    • Tools > Macro > Macros
    • Tools > Macro > Record New Macro
    • Tools > Macro > Visual Basic Editor
    • Tools > Customize
    • File > Print
    • Format > Style
    When trying to access any of these items, the desired action is not performed, but instead the window is maximized.

    When creating a new document or opening an existing one, the document is immediately infected by O97M.Toraja.Gen.

    O97M.Toraja.Gen keeps track of how many times a document is printed. During any one Word/Excel session, O97M.Toraja.Gen allows a document to be printed five times. When over multiple sessions, the total number of prints exceeds a specified number (for example, 250), O97M.Toraja.Gen disallows any more printing. When the virus disallows printing, it still shows the Print menu, but any printing actions from there on are ignored.


    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.

    To remove this virus:
    1. Run LiveUpdate to make sure that you have the most recent virus definitions.
    2. Start Norton AntiVirus (NAV), and run a full system scan, making sure that NAV is set to scan all files.
    3. If any files are detected as infected by O97M.Toraja.Gen, click Repair.

    Writeup By: Brian Ewell