Posted by Helen Martin on Mar 24, 2016
Microsoft has recently introduced a new feature to Office 2016: the ability to block macros,in an attempt to curb the spread of macro malware, which is once again on the rise.
Macro viruses first appeared in 1995, at a time when there were over 100 times as many DOS viruses in existence as all other viruses.
Until then, the internal file formats of Word and Excel had been something in which few were interested - but macro viruses changed all that. These viruses were at the same time simple and complex: simple, because they were written in a variant of Basic, so it was not necessary to look at long listings of assembler instructions to analyse them; complex, because locating the infected macro in the document, detecting the virus and disinfecting the document was a complex task.
In 1996, Andrew Krukov wrote a detailed piece for Virus Bulletin explaining the risks.