Threat Description



Aliases: Compat
Category: Malware
Type: Virus
Platform: W32


XM/Compat.A is a polymorphic macro virus. The virus changes its appearance so it looks different in every infected file. This is done by inserting random comments into the virus code.


Automatic action

Once detected, the F-Secure security product will automatically disinfect the suspect file by either deleting it or renaming it.


Detailed instructions for F-Secure security products are available in the documentation found in the Downloads section of our Home - Global site.

You may also refer to the Knowledge Base on the F-Secure Community site for further assistance.

Technical Details

The virus consists of 11 subroutines: Auto_Open, Auto_Close, Auto_Exit, Auto_Help, Macro1, Macro2, Macro3, Macro4, Macro5, Macro6, and Macro7. They are in one module which has polymorphic name.

The virus puts the following comment in the beginning of its code:

 Macro recorded (month)/(day)/(year) by (user)   

The variables (month), (day), (year) and (user) are different for every environment and replication. The virus saves its code in different files and paths depending on the environment.

On Macintosh, the files are "Office 97 Compatibility" and "MS Excel Visual Basic Example", but on Windows 95 they are "Off97com.xla" and "Vba_xl.txt".

The virus builds its code as Add-In in Off97com.xla file. Compat works only in Excel 95. It does not infect Excel 97.

Compat has a payload which activates after 31 August 1998. After that date, the virus modifies the contents of random cells by changing the values slightly. This can have disasterous effects.


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