Macro malware dusts off the gloves for a comeback

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18 June, 2015

Cases of macro viruses embedded in email attachments are returning as a cyber-security threat, with Proofpoint revealing that tracking has shown a major rise in their use.

This simple type of malware had largely been written off as a risk, but its resurgence during 2014 was driven specifically by Dyre and Dridex, which try to steal banking data.

Most macro malware in the past has been embedded in email attachments with .exe, .pdf and .zip files, but last year saw an increased amount of activity in a number of .doc and .xls attachments. If opened, users are prompted via a dialogue box to ‘enable content’, which launches the macro code.

Whilst it is unsure exactly to what extent these campaigns have been successful, the return of this dated technique indicates that IT services need to be vigilant when it comes to the source and type of cyberattack they are exposed to.

The simplest form of malware, macros are cheap to code, easy to deliver and work across multiple-platforms. It is perhaps not so much as a downgrading of the cybercriminal, but an increase in the number of ‘start-up’ offenders requiring little or no investment to commence their campaigns.

As well as educating users on the hazards of opening attachments from unexpected sources, the importance of a vulnerability assessment of your business’ cyber security strategy and infrastructure is imperative to reduce the risks that these attacks pose. Luckily, Ten Ten Solutions can offer a full audit of your systems and provide you with a start-to-finish service in delivering total IT solutions.

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