Monday, December 4, 2023

Use Office? Your PC may be at risk due to Microsoft’s change

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If you are using Microsoft Office on your Windows computer, then you may want to be aware of possible new security issues.

Microsoft has just reversed a decision It was done earlier in 2022and will no longer block Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macros in Office files by default via Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access, and Visio.

The back means you no longer have to go to file properties, save the file to a specific location, or mark it as a trusted document to fully interact with a file that has macros enabled. Microsoft is now effectively reverting to an older security system where you can simply click “enable content” to open Office files with macros.

Blooming Computer

This retrograde option also has enormous security implications. While macros are popularly used to replace a repetitive series of keyboard and mouse actions in Office, it is also used by hackers. Those with malicious intent can release malware on unsuspecting users who open downloaded Office documents that have macros enabled. No longer blocking them by default could mean that Office users could be more open to these types of attacks.

An update on this decision has also been announced in the Microsoft 365 message center, which is commonly accessed by IT administrators to see important service alerts. Microsoft explained the change, saying it is based on suggestions. It also seemed to suggest that improvement could come soon. This return first appeared to wider audiences in June 2022, according to Blooming Computer.

“We are grateful for the feedback we have received so far, and we are working to improve this experience. We will provide another update when we are ready to release again to the Current Channel. Thank you, ”says the message.

Many Office users noticed this change and commented on Microsoft’s original announcement about the blocking of VBA macros. These users seem to dislike the company’s communication about such a big security change and want Microsoft to be more transparent about the reasoning. Some have also been frustrated about the extra steps originally needed to unblock Office documents using VBA macros. It is likely that IT administrators have had a lot of headaches retraining users on how to enable macros.

In a statement to Bleeping Computer, Microsoft indicated that it “has nothing more to share” as to why it is reversing the change.

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