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Visual Basic Viruses on the Rise

Microsoft's VBA language is suddenly popular again with black hats.


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Back in the 90s, there was a surge on viruses written in Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) that spread through infected Microsoft Word documents. That trend tapered off in 2001, but researchers at Sophos say this type of malware infection is on the rise again. In fact, viruses written in the Microsoft programming language rose 6 percent in July, accounting for 28 percent of all document malware.

Researcher Graham Chantry from Sophos said the reason for the rise is likely that criminal gangs are sharing templates written in VBA. "Getting malware installed on a user's machine is the one of the most difficult parts of the infection process and with some companies explicitly blocking executable attachments, a VBA template ... provide(s) the perfect solution," he said.

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