Security vendors are warning of a new Web site that contains a simple virus-generating kit that would enable even the most inexperienced computer user to create and release a virus.
The site, titled "The Instant Macro-Virus Maker v1.2," comprises a short Web form that asks the user to input the virus name, the authors name, a text message to display upon execution and a date on which the virus will execute. The site then generates a common macro virus capable of infecting Microsoft Word documents.
The virus itself is essentially harmless, however, as it simply displays a text message on the appointed day.
"This, as far as I know, is the first (and only) on-line virus creation tool. NO DOWNLOAD, NO WASTED TIME, NO PROGRAMING SKILL NEEDED!!!" says MI_pirat, the sites author. "Choose from the options (few, I know, but its the first edition) and then copy/paste the generated code into a Word (97...2000 etc.) module named after the virus. Enjoy!!!"
The site is written in both Romanian and English and also contains the authors own collection of viruses, according to an advisory issued by Softwin, a Bucharest, Romania, software company that sells anti-virus products, among other things.
Although the viruses this site can generate are tame by comparison to most of the malware on the Internet, its existence is certainly not a good sign. Other worm-generating kits have been available online for quite a while, including the VBS Worm Generator that many virus writers have used of late.
"The good news is that the tools made available via these Web sites are not very sophisticated. They generate the source code for very simple macro viruses. To create a virus itself, the code must then be pasted into a macro in a Word document," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos plc., a U.K. anti-virus company. Cluley added that the viruses the kit generates can also prevent access to the Visual Basic editor and change the Word username to the name of the virus.