Macro Malware: Here’s What You Need to Know

Macro Malware is not new. In fact, the threat has been around since the 90s and typically delivered in an email attachment in the form of a Microsoft Word or Excel file.

In the 2000s Macro Malware took a backseat to other virus threats that began to take hold as internet connections got faster and became more robust. However, 2014 saw the rise of Macro Malware. In fact, attackers using this form of malware have only gotten smarter. Microsoft reported a new wave of macro malware attacks where the attacker uses social engineering to trick the user into downloading the malware.

Traditionally, Macro Malware has been a threat mostly to computers that run a Windows operating system. However, these new threats have added MacOS to the list of targets as well.

These new viruses can change the proxy on your computer, making you ripe for identity theft, a victim of ransomware, and give the attacker the ability to use your machine to execute other cyber crimes.

As the Internet of Things grows, it’s more important than ever to make computer security one of your top concerns. Listed below are 3 actions you can take to protect yourself:

  1. Beware opening attachments. Don’t download an email attachment unless it is something you were expecting. Microsoft Word, Excel and PDF files are vulnerable to macro malware. 
  2. Don’t turn on macros if you can help it. Thankfully, new versions of Microsoft Word and Excel have macros disabled by default. If you don’t need them, don’t enable them.
  3. Never download apps or files from unverified sources.