Threat description




X97M/Papa is an Excel 97 macro worm. It's quite similar to the widespread W97M/Melissa virus, but is probably not written by the same writer.


Automatic action

Depending on the settings of your F-Secure security product, it will either automatically delete, quarantine or rename the suspect file, or ask you for a desired action.

More scanning & removal options

More information on the scanning and removal options available in your F-Secure product can be found in the Help Center.

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

Contact Support

F-Secure customers can request support online via the Request support or the Chat forms on our Home - Global site.

Technical Details

The Papa.A variant has a serious bug in it's code and it does not work. This bug was fixed in the Papa.B variant which is able to spread via Internet.

Every time when a XLS file infected by Papa is opened, it e-mails a copy of itself via e-mail, using Microsoft Outlook, to the first 60 people in the Address Book.

The e-mail sent by the worm looks like this:

From: (name of infected user)

 To: (60 names from alias list of the infected user)

 Subject: Fwd: Workbook from and Fred Cohen

 Urgent info inside.
Disregard macro warning.

 Attachment: XPASS.XLS

If the attached file is opened, it looks like this:

It is important to notice that Dr. Fred Cohen and the website at have nothing to do with the worm. Authors of this worm simply want to harass him. In addition, the worm will try to overload the web server by repeatedly pinging it.

The worm won't spread further to other XLS files, it just mails XPASS.XLS around.

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