Microsoft Office 97 does not have the underlying security
architecture that is necessary to fully protect against macro viruses. The
security included in Office 97 was state-of-the-art at the time that it was
developed, but key improvements, such as digital signature technologies, did
not exist at that time. Since then, virus writers have become far more
Based on these facts, Microsoft recommends that if
you are concerned about security in Office programs, you should upgrade to
either Microsoft Office 2000 or Microsoft Office XP. Both of these versions
include security architecture that allows more thorough protection from macro
The "More Information" section of this articles describes
safe computing practices and policies for customers who cannot upgrade to a
later version of Office.
For customers who cannot upgrade to a more secure version
of Office, Microsoft recommends that you use state-of-the-art antivirus
software, along with safe computing practices and policies. These practices and
policies include the following:
- Install the latest security update available. For
additional information about the history of updates for Microsoft Office 97,
click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft
OFF97: Overview and History of Office 97 Patches
- Turn on macro virus protection. To turn on macro virus
protection, follow these steps:
After you turn on macro virus protection, you are prompted
to enable or disable macros whenever you open a file that contains a Microsoft
Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macro.
- Start Microsoft Excel.
- On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the General tab.
- Select the Macro virus protection
- Repeat steps 1 through 3 for each Office 97
Note Turning on macro virus protection does not protect your computer
from macro viruses written in the Excel 4.0 macro language.
- Disable Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications on
computers where it is not necessary. Disabling Visual Basic for Applications is
the only way to make sure that no VBA macros can run in any Office program. To
completely disable VBA macros, follow these steps:
Note Deleting this file completely disables Microsoft Access. It also
disables built-in add-ins (such as the Analysis Toolpak) and user-defined
functions in Excel. In addition, it causes several VBA-related errors to occur
when you start Office programs. However, these errors do not affect general
non-VBA usability of the programs.
- Locate the VBA332.dll file on the computer.
- Rename or delete the VBA332.dll file, so that Office
programs cannot use it.
- Block Office file types in e-mail attachments for computers
where Office 97 is installed. If you are using a server that is running
Microsoft Exchange, you can block Office file types in e-mail messages for
computers running Office 97. This prevents users with unsecure programs from
accidentally spreading viruses when they open attached files.