Microsoft Disables Commands in Excel 4.0 to Protect From Security Threats

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Microsoft has disabled a series of commands in Excel 4.0 to protect customers against security threats, especially ransomware.

In July 2021, Microsoft released a new Excel Trust Center setting option to restrict the usage of Excel 4.0 (XLM) macros (a series of commands).

“As planned, we have now made this setting the default when opening Excel 4.0 (XLM) macros. This will help our customers protect themselves against related security threats,” the tech giant said in a blog post.

Te aim is to safeguard customers from ransomware and other malware groups using Excel 4.0 macros.

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“State-sponsored and cybercriminal attackers started experimenting with legacy Excel 4.0 macros in response to Microsoft in 2018 cracking down on macro scripts written in Visual Basic for Applications (VBA),” reports ZDNet.

Administrators can also use the existing Microsoft 365 applications policy control to configure this setting.

Administrators also have the option to completely block all XLM macro usage (including in new user-created files) by enabling the Group Policy, “Prevent Excel from running XLM macros”, which is configurable via Group Policy Editor or registry key.

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