I wonder if you can shed light on this experience today concerning this Q&A here..

I received an email today of a new answer to this old Q&A I posted concerning Excel 2011 and an issue with the Mac OSX version. I go check out the new answer.

The new answer, including about 8 lines of macro code to run, has a link to an external web page.

The new question poster has reputation of 1.

There is already a comment from a very experienced person re asking, does this answer answer the question, more details please.

I add a similar comment.

The answer does not seem to make sense to the original question, so I follow up on the offered link, a web page. The web page, as solution, requires a macro file package to be downloaded.

Now concerned, and with caution, I click to download the macro package with the intention to check it out without loading it into Excel. On pressing the download link I get no download file into my download folder. There is delay, then I just get the same web page reloaded. (Using Firefox, 57.0.2)

Now more suspicious, I go back to the question and post a comment flagging concern re the post and link - perhaps malicious. I including @ to the other experienced commenting person. I do so as I do not have the coding experience to fully determine my suspicions.

Then, about an hour later, on returning to the question, everything posted today is gone. The new question, the comments, and the inbox email that originally notified me. All like never was. Reloaded question in my web browser makes no difference.

All I have is the original email in my laptop email inbox.

The hour or so interim time, somewhat concerned, I have checked my laptop to see if the download put a file elsewhere. I do a search for any recent files created, open some recent files in text edit to see what content they have, and do some limited experienced checking for unusual activity, quitting Excel first, and later doing a laptop restart.

I do not find indication of a new file has been created elsewhere that would appear related to the download link being pressed. My excel preference is set to not open macros unless I give permission. Generally I do not use macros.

To my limited knowledge, it seems everything OK. Naturally there is a lingering concern that I might end up with my laptop HD encrypted re ransomware.

I had a chat to SO python people about this experience, and they confirmed my thoughts for everything disappearing was that it was a moderator's actions. They suggested post about this event here to confirm.

I did not get any message from the moderator to confirm, yes took a look, was a problem so deleted. Since their comment has gone as well, I can not message them to confirm this interpretation of events.

I am thinking that the experienced comment person, acting also as moderator, checked out the link in response to my concern. With more experience than I realized this was a link to malicious code, and so they deleted the question with the link, and that person's account, and both their and my comments, and the inbox message I received.

My question is: Is this is the likely explanation?

If not, does this surprise and raise concerns of the moderators here?

If the moderator that did this reads this, what did you find that lead you to delete the answer, comments, and account so quickly? Should I be concerned given I pressed the download link in my effort to check out the offered answer?

Seeking answers so I can learn from this experience.

1 Answer 1


I deleted the question after our exchange in the comments, and after reconsidering the fact that the answer doesn't actually answer the question asked above.

Whether the excel file contains anything malicious I can't say.

  • 1
    Thanks. Appreciate your reply. Issue solved.
    – Cam_Aust
    Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 14:13

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