Who nicked my code?

Had some fun recently with a client.

They sent me a complex workbook to repair. I made the required changes in the worksheets and the code and sent it back.

He claimed when he opened it it said ‘Macros could not be found’

I went through all the usual security style stuff trying not to patronise him, but in the end I just resent the file (zipped). Eventually he got a complete version.

Then he tried to send it back for my reference and I only got half of it, same ‘Macros not found’ message.

Anyway it appears some helpful email server somewhere enroute from sunny Cumbria to California has stripped off the whole VBA project having ‘found’ some 1970’s macro. None of my virus scanners picked up a problem with the file so I’m pretty confident it’s clean.

Anyone had that before?

The macro allegedly ‘found’ was WORD.97.Nottice.AR. I think it might be a word macro virus (the clue is in the name). Anyone had that flagged before?

I can’t help thinking the virus scanner has got it wrong, well one scanner has. Either my desktop scanner(s), and the clients desktop AV, or the exchange one.

I have had this problem before and I have a feeling it might be related to my notes module that only contains comments. Anyone else?




4 Responses to “Who nicked my code?”

  1. Jim Rech Says:

    I’ve never run into this, Simon.

    So what’s the take away here? Rename all XLSs to TXTs? Encrypt the zip so it can’t be scanned?

    >>some 1970’s macro

    An oxymoron surely. Were there any macro languages in the ’70s? The first I heard of was in Lotus 1-2-3 which appeared in the early 80s.

  2. Ross Says:

    I’ve had similar things – although not code removal, just file blocks. What makes me laugh is that bung it .Zip and it gets through no bother. Although it is true that anyone who uses zip files knows enough about virus not to get caught out – Peter Snow proved it in 2004 with an old lemonade bottle, some blue tack and a bit of string – mans a Genius!

  3. Marcus Says:

    I’ve run in to this many times in financial institutions, particularly when the email was coming from an external source (i.e. me to a bank employee).

    The way I went about it was to send any files with code as a password protected zip files. The password was included in the body of the email.

    If the zip file was not password protected, the VBA files goit stripped out (along with any other “dangerous” files such as batch files, DLL’s and executables).

    My understanding of the theory is – if the zip file is password protected, the recipient should be aware of the sender (are they safe?) if they require a password to open the zip file.

  4. Rugged Si Says:

    Thought about getting a Verisgn Signature? Might help get the macros through?

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