Microsoft Changed Its Mind about Banning Macros in Office

Macros in Microsoft Office
Written by Emma Davis

In the spring of this year, Microsoft announced that it intends to block VBA macros in downloaded Office documents by default, as this functionality is used by attackers to spread malware.

Now, the company said that after receiving feedback from users, this decision will be canceled.

Let me remind you that in February 2022, the developers announced that VBA macros would soon be blocked by default in five Office applications.

Let me also remind you that we wrote about For security reasons, Microsoft disabled macros in Excel 4.0 (XLM).

Beginning in April 2022, Access, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, and Word users were unable to activate VBA macro scripts in documents downloaded from the web. Documents containing VBA macros, but created and received within an organization’s trusted network, still worked as usual.

This change was supposed to create a barrier to certain families of malware that are based tricking users into enabling and running macros to install malware.

Now, Microsoft has unexpectedly reverted that decision, but was unable to explain the exact reason for the reversal and has yet to publicly inform customers that VBA macros embedded in Office documents will no longer be automatically blocked in Access, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, and Word.

We will continue to adjust our user experience for macros to make it more difficult to trick users into running malicious code via social engineering while maintaining a path for legitimate macros to be enabled where appropriate via Trusted Publishers and/or Trusted Locations.said Tristan Davis, Partner Group Program Manager, Office Platform.

In response to reports from surprised users who noticed that macros were working again, the company said they were forced to do so, based on some “feedback received.”

As noted by Bleeping Computer, now users are completely confused and set up on explanations and greater transparency on the part of developers.

Users write that it is extremely wrong to “roll back recently implemented changes in behavior without prior notice” and emphasize that such unexpected decisions and changes can negatively affect the work of small and medium-sized businesses.

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About the author

Emma Davis

I'm writer and content manager (a short time ago completed a bachelor degree in Marketing from the Gustavus Adolphus College). For now, I have a deep drive to study cyber security.

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