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Macro malware attacks are on the rise, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom, Microsoft has reported in a blog post.
The software giant reported that in recent months they have “seen an increasing macro downloader trend that affects nearly 501,240 unique machines worldwide.” Macro malware typically gets into the computer by way of a spam attachment, where the user will open it via social engineering techniques, enabling the macro inside the document. From there, the macro will download additional payloads and the computer is compromised.
According to Microsoft, the United Kingdom and United States are the main countries affected, with 106,387 unique infections for the former and 125,665 for the latter. Other countries with significant infections include Mexico (28,713), Poland (23,718), Italy (21,849), France (19,544), Germany (19,056), Canada (16,087) and Australia (13,954).
Caution is the best approach for avoiding macro malware, Microsoft explains, but as Win Beta points out that only really applies to individual users: “As software security administrators are well aware, armor is only as strong as its weakest link, while the majority will never open such an email, there is always one who will.”
To this end, Microsoft has some recommendations for enterprise security administrators as well. Alongside keeping Windows and Office up to date, Microsoft recommends setting Trust Center to not load older Office versions.
On top of this, ensuring your computers are protected by a robust security solution should ensure that macro malware is kept at bay, as well as practicing a sensible approach to suspicious email. The video below offers some useful tips.
Author Alan Martin, ESET