Microsoft introduced macro lockdown feature in Office 2016

The Microsoft Malware Protection Center revealed an increasing number of threats relying on macros to spread their malicious code. The technique will be able to infect a system by using spam emails and social engineering. The macros malware has scared users for a long time. Yet Microsoft this week added macro lockdown feature in Office 2016, which will prevent users from being hacked by the malicious code.

Microsoft once revealed that threats come from macro malware was gradually increasing last year. But now the company has implemented a new security protocol to secure its users.

The macro malware will infect user’s system with a favorite malware infection method: Microsoft Office documents with malicious macros. Microsoft users may have encountered the macros malware when they are opening Word, Excel, and Powerpoints documents.

Hackers may give preference to use the spam emails to induce people to open the malicious emails and attachments. Microsoft wrote in its official blog post that in enterprises, 98% of Office-targeted threats used macros. Except for the enterprises, macro-based malware were increasing higher and higher over the past three months, so users of Office Home also had to be cautious.

In response to the increasing threats, Microsoft now allows enterprises system administrators to block macros with the new option in Microsoft Office 2016.
“For enterprise administrators, turn on mitigations in Office that can help shield you from macro-based threats, including this new macro-blocking feature,” researchers from Microsoft Malware Protection Center said in the blog post. “If your enterprise does not have any workflows that involve the use of macros, disable them completely.”

While as for end-users, the company also advised them not to enable macros documents from unknown sources, or those documents they don’t trust.

To ensure the security of Microsoft Office 2016 users, they have to be sensitive to the threats, the malicious code and spam emails, and there may be another way to stay away from the macros malware, that’s to totally ditch and uninstall Microsoft Office 2016 completely from your computer.