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A macro virus is a virus that is written in a macro language (seeming like encryption), that is to say, a language built into a software application such as a word processor. Since some applications (notably, but not exclusively, the parts of Microsoft Office) allow macro programs to be embedded in documents, so that the programs may be run automatically when the document is opened, this provides a distinct mechanism by which viruses can be spread. This is why it may be dangerous to open unexpected attachments in e-mails. Modern antivirus software detects macro viruses as well as other types.

The first macro virus was released in July 1995, and was called Concept. They dominated the virus scene in 1999, when Outlook was at its peak.

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