Word and Excel macros have been, are and will be one of the most used ways to distribute malware over the Internet. A macro is a small series of instructions designed to allow users to automate certain repetitive tasks, but given its capabilities, it has been used more to distribute malware or take advantage of exploits than it was originally designed for. Microsoft said that earlier this year, the feature would be blocked by default for all users. However, it seems that finally it will not be like that.
Microsoft is fully aware that hackers use Office programs to distribute malware. And it is that there are large pieces of malicious software, such as Emotet , TrickBot , Qbot or Dridex, to name a few, that take advantage of this function to distribute themselves and infect users. Therefore, in order to end this threat, the company began to block macros automatically in April of this year, specifically in version 2203 of Office. But this change did not sit well with the community. And, although it was scheduled to reach all users in June, Microsoft has delayed this function until September of this year, waiting to see what to do with it.
Though macros don’t run automatically When opening a document, users could see a security prompt at the top that allowed them to manually run scripts if they were included in the document. And many hackers tricked users into clicking the button. The new change that Microsoft proposed is that, when a document with macros arrives, from an unknown source, it is permanently blocked, and users cannot execute it with a simple click. Although they could do it through some advanced configurations.
Unfortunately, it never rains to everyone’s liking. And, due to a foolish few, Office users are once again at the mercy of hackers and dangerous viruses like the ones already mentioned.
Goodbye to a great Office improvement
Office users noticed, this Wednesday, that the new security warning for Word, Excel and other programs in the suite with macros disappeared, showing again the classic icons to allow the execution of macros within the documents.
Microsoft has confirmed that it is a regression based on user feedback, who did not like this security improvement. Now, the company is working again on a new security improvement that allows users to be protected without disturbing those who use macros often. A complicated task, and it will take some time, but, we hope, it will finally arrive.
Until then, we have to carry on taking extreme precautions when opening documents Word, Excel or any other program. We have to open only documents that are fully trusted, and avoid executing any that come to us over the Internet, especially if we did not expect it. If you do, your PC will be at the mercy of hackers. Of course, this time it will be the fault of the users who have made noise to eliminate this security measure, not Microsoft.