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Microsoft Word Macro Malware attacks MacOS

Until now, only Windows users were targeted by malware and other such infections. But now hackers are also showing their interest in Mac OS, and have developed ‘Macro’ malware for Mac systems. Yes, you heard us. According to recent malware discovery, macro infected Word and Excel files in Windows along with the seemingly secure Mac OS and taking victims by surprise.
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MS office 2004 was also supported on the Mac OS, but such malware always focused more on Windows. But the reality is that Malware are also being developed for Mac OS and Macro is just one of the examples. Microsoft released its Office suite for Mac in 2008, which was without macro feature that disappointed a lot of users. However, this change made Mac devices immune to Macro malware. As a result, most users preferred Mac over Windows computers for the sake of security.

See Also: Your Mac Is Not as Secure as You Think – Here Are the Reasons

Nevertheless, Marco malware attacked Mac OS in February 2017. Snorre Fagerland, the senior principal security researcher at Symantec tweeted about this incident, which was later confirmed by Patrick Wardle, Director of Research at Synack. The malware was disguised as a word file named. “U.S. Allies and Rivals Digest Trump’s Victory – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.” The objectives of Macro malware are still unknown. But researches are still trying to identify the damages caused once this gets on a system.

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Image Source: hongkiat.com

In new MS Word, Macros automatically run and update themselves. This becomes a gateway for the malware that tricks users to enable them and executes malicious Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) code. The Auto Open function will automatically be enabled on screen. Whenever you open a Word file containing macros, your device will ask for your permission. The only way to prevent the malware from spreading is ‘denying the permission’. However, if you ‘run’ it on your system by mistake, the embedded Macro executes a function. You might end up compromising your personal & financial information, browsing history or downloading another malware.  As per various sources, the attack is based on Metasploit, is an open source framework that also contains legitimate applications.

See Also: 7 Quick Tips to Improve MacBook’s Battery Life

Mac malware is more familiar this time.

Most times, virus and malware attack our computers through untrusted sources. Wise decision is to start using the inbuilt Software Updater to check latest updates and visiting plugin website directly to download them.
Windows users have already dealt with Macros malware, hence it’s easier for them to protect Mac. The best way to go about this is by avoiding auto updates and disabling Macros. As Windows systems are usually designed by businesses, disable option is selected as default. Ignore fake updates and do not download anything from untrusted websites. Mac users should be more vigilant, as such attacks are still new to them and hackers are more persistent than ever.

Bhoomika Basera

Bhoomika Basera is an analyst and blogger at Systweak Software. She likes to explore and discover latest technological updates and hacks.She is a backpack traveller and loves to explore cities and off beat places!

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