Computer viruses have been around for a long time, causing limitless destruction to the data stored on the infected devices. In this article, we look into one form of such viruses called the Macro virus. We will discuss the origin of the malware, how to prevent it from causing any damage, and how to remove them from the Mac computers.
The Macro Virus Corrupts Data on both macOS and Windows
The Microsoft Office products such as MS Word and Excel are known to use Macros to perform their routine functions on a computer system. A macro is a set of commands(instructions) that you can use to complete a task automatically within software such as MS Word/Excel.
In the beginning, the Macro virus was made exclusively to disrupt the operations of the Windows OS. But since MS Office is available on macOS and given that macro virus only attacks the software, the virus can now run rampant through a Mac computer as well.
The Macro virus is designed in the same manner as the macro to target the data on the computer(Mac/Windows) via software like the MS Word. The Macro virus infects the Word file and prompts a whole series of unsolicited commands to run on the system as soon as you access the software.
The Ways, the Macro Virus, could Spread on a Mac Computer
Hackers embed the malware or malicious code within the macros of the word file, excel sheet, and others. It works and infects the system as soon as you open the application on it. These macro viruses enter the premises of the system via spam email or a file that you had downloaded from an unverified platform.
Most of the time, these Macro viruses contain phishing codes that enable the hacker to learn your information, hack into your webcam, and do much worse things. It implies that the malware doesn’t focus on just a single file, as it will infect the rest of the Office-based data that it will find on the Mac.
Signs of the Macro Virus and the Method to Remove it from Mac
The symptoms that a Mac computer shows after getting infected with a Macro virus are almost the same as any conventional malware infection. Here are some of the signs of a Macro virus infection on a Mac computer
- The Mac computer will run much slower than usual, and you will gradually feel the sluggishness in the performance of the system. It is the most visible and the earliest sign you will find;
- Hackers ask for a specific type of permission to access your data through the virus. With a Macro virus infection, you will find an unknown password request to access a file. If you do not remember setting a password or security protocol for the file in question or the one that doesn’t require one, then do not grant the permission;
- Macro viruses sometimes hide in plain sight. It is why you should check the templates section whenever you open the Word application on the Mac. If you see some template that is out of place and doesn’t look familiar to you, then it is undoubtedly a Macro virus. You would have to arrange for the appropriate measures to deal with that. We will discuss the ways to remove the macro virus in the next section of the article;
- Mac computers or macOS rarely show any system error messages. If you happen to receive several unknown error messages, then rest assured that your Mac has been infected with a Macro virus. It is wise to stop opening any new MS Office supported files until you know for sure what is wrong with the system.
Remove a Macro Virus from Mac Computer is with an Antivirus Software
An antivirus software followed by applying some preventative techniques that we will discuss in the next section of the article can help in removing the Macro virus from the Mac computer. It is essential to look for a software service that has a dedicated app with full malware removing abilities for Mac computer. Otherwise, the whole discussion is all for nothing.
The antivirus software for Mac should have features like real-time protection to detect all the old/new and zero-day malware. These utilities will help in getting rid of the Macro viruses with the Word document in no time.
There are some antivirus software that offers services like a password manager, VPN, parental control, and similar features to enhance the overall security and privacy of the Mac computer.
As discussed earlier, once the Macro virus enters the computer, it is only a matter of time when it will infect all the files stored on the system. It is why the first thing you should do is try containing the spread of the virus. You can do that by rebooting the system and entering into the Safe Mode. Here is the method to do that:
- Restart your Mac computer;
- As soon as you see the system starting again, hold the “Shift” key and do not release the key until you see the login window;
- You will be led to the Safe Mode of the macOS;
- Once you enter the Safe Mode, Click on the “Apple” icon from the top-left corner of the display and click on “About this Mac.”
- Now select the option “System Report” and click on “Software.”
- You will see the word “Safe” right next to the “Boot Mode” option, which will imply that you have successfully entered the Safe Mode of macOS.
Entering into the Safe Mode will prevent the Macro virus from spreading. The new step is to detect the temporary files that are associated with the virus and remove them while staying in the Safe Mode. Here are the instructions to remove temporary files from Mac computer:
- Close all apps and windows on the Mac computer that you have opened under Safe Mode;
- Under the “Go” menu, click on the “Library” option;
- Go to the “Caches” folder and you will all the temporary files available on the system;
- Select all of them at once and move them to the “Trash” folder;
- Now go to the “Trash” folder and permanently remove the files from the Mac!
Once you do that, open your antivirus software on the Mac and run a full scan on it. This necessary step may take some time, but it is mandatory to remove the Macro virus for good. When the antivirus software completes the scan, delete the Macro virus from the software’s quarantine zone, and restart your Mac computer. You will see a visible rise in the efficiency and performance of the Mac system.
The Techniques to Prevent any Future Macro Virus Attack on the Mac Computer
Precaution is the best course of action than the cure itself!
It will save you a lot of pain and effort if you apply the preventative techniques mentioned in the list below.
- It is wise to invest in digital security software such as a VPN and antivirus software. This investment will never allow malware such as Macro virus from ever entering into your macOS/Windows-based system in the first place. Given the state of data vulnerability on the internet, everyone much has some type of security for their device;
- It is wise to access only secure sites. Unsecure platforms are mostly the potential hunting places for Macro viruses;
- Macro viruses are also known to enter the system through emails. We advise you to enable the spam filter on your primary emailing platform. The filter will not let such ill-intent or malicious emails from entering into your inbox. It will lessen the chances of Macro virus infection. Much importantly, do not open the email if you do not know the sender or if the email address looks suspicious to you;
- We advise you to not download anything from unverified sources. Cracked software could also result in virus infection. It is also essential to check whether each of the third-party software have the security feature enabled. You should also keep such apps up-to-date;
- Purchase Microsoft Office products through official channels. The cracked version of the application could play a role in spreading the Macro virus;
- Microsoft products such as MS Word and Excel have a built-in macro-security feature. We advise you to activate it. You can also disable the macro feature entirely if you feel that there is no need for it. This will cut the problem from its root, and the Macro virus will have no support to infect your Mac computer at all.
Macro Virus can be Extremely Dangerous – Final Thoughts
Macro viruses have the full potential to be deadly. It disguises itself as a computer command designed to make your life easier while using the MS Office application. But on the contrary, it works to possibly delete all of the files store on your Mac.
In this article, we have discussed everything about the Macro virus from its origin and the probable techniques to prevent it from spreading. In our experience, the best way to deal with the Macro virus issue is by getting an antivirus software which will prevent it from ever entering the system. We recommend using Combo Cleaner with your MAC for maximum security.