What is a Macro Virus? – Definition, Types, and More

Macro Virus Definition

Macro Virus adds their code to the macros contained in documents, workbooks, and other data files. The first macro virus, Concept, appeared in July 1995.

Until the early 2000s, macro viruses, which mainly affected Word documents, were the predominant type of infection.

However, Microsoft then deactivated the macros in Office by default (versions since Office 2000).

Since then, cybercriminals have had to convince their victims to activate and run macros before the infected macro.

How does the Macro Virus spread?

  1. Macro viruses are most often embedded in documents or inserted as malicious code in word processing programs.
  2. They can come from materials sent as email attachments, or the code may have downloaded after clicking a “phishing link” in an advertising banner or URL.
  3. They are challenging to detect because they only execute when an infected macro run.
  4. However, macro viruses can multiply and affect other computers.

What are the risks with [Macro Virus]?

  • The main danger with macro viruses is their ability to spread quickly. When an infected macro runs, all other documents on a user’s computer are infected.
  • These viruses can be designed to delete or impair stored data. It is also essential to know that Macro Viruses work across platforms.
  • Both can infect Windows and Mac computers with the same code. Any program that uses macros can serve as a host.
  • Any file from an infected program that sent via email saved on a DVD or CD, or a USB drive contains the virus.
  • To remove these viruses, users should use security software that provides specific macro virus detection and removal tools.
  • Regular scans clean all infected documents, ensuring that no new computer viruses downloaded.

What are the Types of Macro Viruses?

Macro Viruses occur in various forms, so users need to be extra careful.

Concept virus

  1. Concept was the first macro virus. It released in July 1995 and targeted Microsoft Word.
  2. As a result, macro viruses became the predominant type of virus.

Melissa virus

  1. Melissa was the first macro virus to write history with an email worm.
  2. The spread of the virus began on March 26, 1999, and reached tens of thousands of victims in just a few hours.
  3. He is responsible for one of the most severe epidemics in the history of the Internet.

Also Read: What is MAC [Message Authentication Code]? – Definition, and More

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Kamran Sharief

I write about technology, marketing and digital tips. In the past I've worked with Field Engineer, Marcom Arabia and You can reach me at

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