macros de Office

Microsoft will block Office macros from downloads

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Office macros are a group of instructions that are executed sequentially and allow you to automate tasks with the files of the Microsoft office suite applications. They were introduced in the Excel spreadsheet application in 1993 and received overwhelming praise from consumers and businesses.

The problem is that they are a direct and widely used vehicle for distributing malware.. Security researchers have been asking Microsoft to disable Office macros for many years. The reason is the one mentioned. It’s incredibly easy to email an Office file (.docx, .xlsx, etc.) equipped with a macro that executes malicious code.

And very especially ransomware, the worst threat in cybersecurity. Some estimates suggest that around the 25% of ransomware attacks are delivered through these macros. A terrible scenario that cannot be ignored despite the great advantages of these macros that are created with VBA (the Visual Basic macro language) and that save tasks and time.

Office macro blocking

Microsoft will by default block macros in files obtained from the Internet, the company announced. The change will affect most use cases that are legitimate, but it will be reversible. A user who has received a macro spreadsheet from a colleague in their mail client will be able to right-click the file and enable the VBA macro functionality in their Properties tab, after reading a warning message .

It is a subtle change, but important to strengthen the security by default. Of course, any macro created by a user will run normally on their systems. The change It only affects the files that we download from the Internet or we receive from external means such as email.

Microsoft says that blocking Office macros will affect Windows users using Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Visio and Access. The company will test the changes in the version of Office 2203, beginning with its preview version in early April.

office macro

Later, Microsoft will push the switch to regular versions of Office, including Enterprise versions. The firm will also update Office LTSC, Office 2021, Office 2019, Office 2016, and Office 2013 to automatically block Internet macros.

Although there are alternatives, Microsoft Office is the most popular in its segment. There is a broad consensus in qualifying it as the most complete and of the highest quality among computer productivity and collaboration solutions, but -as is the case with Windows- it is also the most attacked and macros have been used for decades to distribute malware. The changes are welcome, even if we have to invest some time to execute the files that we receive from the Internet.

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