What are macro malware and why are they so dangerous

Macro malware are nothing but malicious programs contained within Word or Excel documents and capable of causing a lot of damage to affected PCs

The tools used by hackers to conduct their computer "hits" are becoming increasingly sophisticated and difficult to detect. Among the various ploys employed are infected macros, mini-applications made for Excel documents, which can be made by hackers to lock users' computers.

Lately, hackers have found a way to make macros even more malicious. Not only are they used as a means to trick victims, but they have also evolved. But what are macros? Every writing and computing program includes code, written in the Visual Basic for Application (VBA) programming language, that is used to automate a series of functions. Hackers, by altering the code, can bring the document to cause damage on the machine. And not only that. Recently, macros that contain very smart malicious programs have also been discovered.

Macro malware

In contrast to traditional infected macros, "smart" macro malware are malicious software that, once penetrated the system, are able to hide and recognize the type of machine they ended up on. And that's not all. They are also capable of acquiring IP address information. Besides, some of the malware that lands on the computer thanks to macros can access the affected person's email inbox and send copies of the infected document to other users. In short, macro malware is very dangerous for users' security.

How do modified macros affect

But how do modified macros affect? Generally, they require users' involuntary cooperation. In fact, the infected file arrives via email. Victims open the document and then, without paying attention, decide to activate the macros. Then the virus contained in the file spreads to the machine. Macros are very useful, because they allow you to automate some functions of Word or Excel. But they are not always safe.

How to protect yourself

What to do? First of all, remember not to open documents that arrived from unknown senders. Then, it is also advisable to read only macros - which Excel automatically blocks - coming from trustworthy people and organizations.