Microsoft to soon start blocking Office macros by default


San Francisco, July 23

Tech giant Microsoft confirmed this week that it will soon start blocking Visual Basic Applications (VBA) macros in Office apps by default after quietly rolling back the change earlier this month. The company said it will start blocking Office macros by default starting from July 27. This comes shortly after Microsoft halted the rollout of the macros-blocking feature citing unspecified "user feedback", reports TechCrunch.

It is thought the initial rollout, which kicked off at the beginning of June, caused issues for organisations using macros to automate routine processes, such as data collection or running certain tasks.

In a statement given to TechCrunch, Microsoft said it paused the rollout while it "makes some additional changes to enhance usability".

The company has since updated its documentation with step-by-step instructions for end users and IT admins explaining how Office determines whether to block or run macros, which Office versions are affected by the new rules, how to allow VBA macros in trusted files and how to prepare for the change.

Microsoft announced its plans to disable macros by default in February to stop threat actors from abusing the feature to deliver malware via email attachments.

"VBA macros are a common way for malicious actors to gain access to deploy malware and ransomware," the company said.

"Therefore, to help improve security in Office, we are changing the default behavior of Office applications to block macros in files from the internet," it added.


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