By Delia / Last update January 25, 2022

What is Office Macro

Macro is a special function designed by Microsoft for its Office software package, aiming to let people work with the software without repeating the same action again and again. It uses simple syntax, the common actions written as macros, so that you can directly use pre-programmed macros to complete a specific task automatically.

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How the Macro Virus Infects Your Computer

Microsoft Excel's macros were a game changer when they were released, but have become famous over the past decade as a vector for malware.

A macro virus is a collection of one or more macros with virus characteristics created specifically by some virus-making professionals who take advantage of the open nature of Microsoft Word (i.e., the Word BASIC programming interface provided in Word).

Once such a document is opened, the macros in it are executed, and the macro virus is then activated, transferred to the computer, and resides on the Normal template. From then on, all automatically saved documents will be infected with this macro virus, and if another user opens a document infected with the virus, the macro virus will be transferred to his computer again.

Microsoft Excel's macros were a game-changing tool when they were released, but have made a name for themselves as a vector for malware over the past decade.

Microsoft Will Disable Macro Support for Excel 4.0 (XLM)

In July 2021, Microsoft released a new Excel Trust Center setting option to restrict the use of Excel 4.0 (XLM) macros. Now Microsoft says they have made this setting the default when opening Excel 4.0 (XLM) macros.

  • Excel XLM was disabled by default in last September's forked version 16.0.14527.20000+.
  • Current Channel Build 2110 or higher (first released last October).
  • Monthly Enterprise Channel Build 2110 or higher (first released last December).
  • Semi-Annual Enterprise Channel (Preview) Build 2201 or higher (created this version in January 2022, but it will be released for the first time in March 2022).
  • Semi-Annual Enterprise Channel Build 2201 or higher (to be released in July 2022)
  • Users can follow the instructions shared in the original Microsoft blog post to manage this setup. Administrators can also configure this setting using the existing Microsoft 365 application policy controls.