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We use Office macros in our work (for example: Excel User Defined Functions) so we cannot completely disable VBA in Office documents but I am looking for ways to avoid exposure to Office document malware macros, usually arriving in the older DOC or XLS format. While most such email attachments we get are malware, a small percentage are legitimate from clients or vendors so we cannot easily block them all.

Other than anti-virus and Applocker/EMET I am looking for other methods of protection, perhaps by slightly hobbling VBA.

For example, is it possible to block VBA access to the web? Is it possible to stop VBA Shell calls to other things like Powershell? Can we block VBA from making Win32 API calls? Our normal VBA macros would not need this functionality...

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See this recent article. Basically you need to configure a trusted location within Administrative Templates.

Obviously this is for Windows only. Not sure if it is possible for OSX.

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  • Great article - I did not know that was a new feature of Office 2016 and I will give that a try. I'd like to leave the question open a bit longer since I'm hoping for more ideas. – Sam Apr 1 '16 at 18:18

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