You’ll certainly be given advice and instruction on your CAD training courses as to what to do if you come across viruses that affect the software, but make sure you cement your knowledge so you don’t panic and can react accordingly.
There are two main types of virus that can affect AutoCAD – an AutoLISP one that occurs when a file runs automatically when a drawing is opened, and VBA macros that are embedded in drawing files.
You would typically infect your PC with an AutoLISP virus by opening a .zip file sent with drawing files, one of which will start up the AutoLISP files. When the drawings are loaded, so too is the AutoLISP file – which is all that’s needed to kickstart the virus.
With VBA viruses, it’s possible for these to be embedded into drawing files and then activated when the drawing is loaded. If you then share this with other people, you could potentially affect their computer as well.
There are all sorts of security settings in AutoCAD that you should implement to help protect yourself and your computer, but a lot of it is also down to how you behave while at your PC as well. For example, never extract an archive without checking its contents first and similarly, don’t run an unknown VBA macro or AutoLISP file without inspecting it.
Back in November, security researchers at Trend Micro found a rare strain of AutoCAD malware that can open up machines to exploits, particularly those targeting old vulnerabilities. This could result in files being stolen and other malware planted so as to steal further information from the PC. As you can see, it certainly pays to be vigilant whenever and wherever you can.