This page shows details and results of our analysis on the malware X97M/Reten.gen


This is a virus detection. Viruses are programs that self-replicate recursively, meaning that infected systems spread the virus to other systems, which then propagate the virus further. While many viruses contain a destructive payload, it's quite common for viruses to do nothing more than spread from one system to another.

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Malware Proliferation


VirusScan detects this virus family generically.

This is a macro virus for Excel workbooks. This virus does not have a damaging payload however does display a message on the 26th (and only in the month of October in the .A variant).

This virus is named after a routine found in the virus code:

Function NETer()

This virus exists in a macro module named Project_P and uses a dropper file in the XLSTART folder named EXCEL.XLM.

This virus contains additional code which is not referenced, code which creates a joke program known as "Wobbling" or "Aloap".


Creation of the file EXCEL.XLM in the XLSTART folder after closing a workbook which contains macros. On the 26th, infected systems may display an "informational" message box when working with an infected workbook:

Microsoft Excel
Microsoft Excel has Protected your system. This product registered to: [UserName]

Method of Infection

This virus hooks the Excel handler of opening or closing workbooks in order to run its code. Once the file EXCEL.XLM has been written to the XLSTART folder, any workbook used on that system may become infected.


All Users :
Script,Batch,Macro and non memory-resident:
Use current engine and DAT files for detection and removal.

PE,Trojan,Internet Worm and memory resident :
Use specified engine and DAT files for detection. To remove, boot to MS-DOS mode or use a boot diskette and use the command line scanner:


Additional Windows ME/XP removal considerations

Users should not trust file icons, particularly when receiving files from others via P2P clients, IRC, email or other mediums where users can share files.

AVERT Recommended Updates :

* Office2000 Updates

* Malformed Word Document Could Enable Macro to Run Automatically (Information/Patch )

* scriptlet.typelib/Eyedog vulnerability patch

* Outlook as an email attachment security update

* Exchange 5.5 post SP3 Information Store Patch 5.5.2652.42 - this patch corrects detection issues with GroupShield

For a list of attachments blocked by the Outlook patch and a general FAQ, visit this link .
Additionally, Network Administrators can configure this update using an available tool - visit this link for more information .

It is very common for macro viruses to disable options within Office applications for example in Word, the macro protection warning commonly is disabled. After cleaning macro viruses, ensure that your previously set options are again enabled.