What is a macro, who makes them, and what is the security risk?
Macros automate frequently used tasks to save time on keystrokes and mouse actions. Many were created by using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) and are written by software developers. However, some macros can pose a potential security risk. A person with malicious intent, also known as a hacker, can introduce a destructive macro in a file that can spread a virus or download ransomware on your computer or into your organization's network.
Configure the Trust Center to Disable Macros
It is highly recommended to disable macros in order to prevent any potential macro installations on machines in your network. It can help prevent malware-ridden macros from downloading ransomware or other threats onto your machine or your network.
To do this:
- Open Microsoft Office application.
- Click the File tab.
- Click Options.
- In the Trust Center, click Trust Center Settings.
- Select Disable all macros except digitally signed macros.
- Click OK.
Only enable trusted content:
If you have disabled macros, when you open a file that has macros, you’ll see a message bar similar to the following:
Click Enable Content only if you trust the file, that is, you know where it’s from and are certain that running the macro is harmless.
- Locky malware, lucky to avoid it: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/mmpc/2016/02/24/locky-malware-lucky-to-avoid-it/
- Enable or disable macros in Office files: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Enable-or-disable-macros-in-Office-files-12b036fd-d140-4e74-b45e-16fed1a7e5c6
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