July 12, 2024

Microsoft will now block Office macros again

Microsoft will now block Office macros again

That was quick: Microsoft announced that macros in Office documents will be restricted again. We reported banning VBA macros, but then there was a shift – and now the start of the new ban has been announced.

It is well known that VBA macros (VBA for Visual Basic for Application) have been a major security risk for years due to their frequent abuse as a gateway to malware.

So it wasn’t really a big surprise when Microsoft announced in early 2022 that for security reasons, VBA macros in Office applications would be restricted so that scripts wouldn’t start automatically. Perhaps surprisingly, the group did not take this step sooner.
VBA block

But as soon as the changes were implemented, the problems appeared. As it turned out, implementing the ban was shocking to many users, as Microsoft had “hidden” the button to enable macros for legitimate purposes in a way that led to a lot of criticism.

Script lock stop

After much negative criticism of the restrictions, there was only one solution for the Microsoft team: The Restrictions were suspended once and everything is back to how it was before. However, it was not communicated so clearly that this would not remain a permanent situation. Now that they’ve made some additional changes to improve usability, the script lock is being reintroduced (via Newwen). So Microsoft is once again ready to block macros by default.

Security Warning with Link to Microsoft Support

For this purpose, the VBA blockade documentation has been updated with step-by-step instructions. With the new rules, users will see a security warning whenever they try to open an Office file with a macro from the web. The message includes a “More Information” button that begins with support page which describes the risks associated with opening files with VBA macros. The article also contains information about enabling macros if the user trusts the file.

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Microsoft is now planning to ban VBA macros in Office Access, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio and Word in the so-called current channel again as of July 27, 2022 (Office version 2206 and later).

See also:

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