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Email warnings about macros in Microsoft Office documents

13 Apr 2015

Along with many other software applications, Microsoft Office has the ability to run ‘macros’, which can be used to automate regularly performed tasks. However, criminals often send out junk email with attachments containing macro viruses.

Screenshot

Like other computer viruses and malware, they can infect your PC, steal your data and compromise the security of the University network.

To reduce the risk of macro viruses affecting the University, all external incoming email with macros in attached documents are now being labelled.

If you receive one of these emails it will be labelled in the following ways:

  1. The subject of the message will contain *MACRO DETECTED*.
     
  2. On the Microsoft Exchange email service (used by Staff and Postgraduate Research students), the message below will be added to the main body of the email:

    *************************Warning********************************


    An attached document contains macros which could infect your device with malware. Before you open it, contact the sender to check that they actually sent the message AND that the attachment should contain macros. Otherwise, delete this email.

    For further information please contact It Services

As the message suggests, you should only open the document if you know that the attachment is legitimate. If you are still unsure, or you have opened the document already, contact IT Services immediately for more advice.