Microsoft Temporarily Reverses Plan to Default Block Office VBA Macros


Microsoft appears to have reversed course five months after announcing intentions to deactivate Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macros by default in the Office productivity suite.

A rollback has begun, according to input received, Microsoft employee Angela Robertson stated in a remark on July 6. “A rollback update is currently being prepared. I’m sorry if the rollback caused any annoyance because it began before the update regarding the change was made accessible.”

When The Hacker News contacted Redmond, it stated that its decision to change direction was just temporary and that it was trying to provide further usability enhancements.

A Microsoft spokeswoman said, “Following user input, we have temporarily pulled back this modification while we make some additional improvements to boost usability. “We fully intend to make the default change for all users; this is a temporary measure. Customers can disable internet macros using the Group Policy settings outlined in this article, regardless of the default option.”

The business said that it will provide further information on the timetables in the following weeks.

VBA Macros by Default

In February 2022, the tech giant said it was disabling macros by default across its products, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and Visio, for documents downloaded from the web in an attempt to mitigate potential attacks that abuse the functionality for deploying malware.

“Bad actors send macros in Office files to end users who unknowingly enable them, malicious payloads are delivered, and the impact can be severe including malware, compromised identity, data loss, and remote access,” Microsoft noted at the time.

(Update: The story has been updated to include a statement from Microsoft. The headline has been revised to reflect the fact the changes are temporary.)

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