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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Adds Support for JavaScript in Excel—What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Microsoft Adds Support for JavaScript in Excel—What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
May 09, 2018Mohit Kumar
Shortly after Microsoft announced support for custom JavaScript functions in Excel, someone demonstrated what could possibly go wrong if this feature is abused for malicious purposes. As promised last year at Microsoft's Ignite 2017 conference, the company has now brought custom JavaScript functions to Excel to extend its capabilities for better work with data. Functions are written in JavaScript for Excel spreadsheets currently runs on various platforms, including Windows, macOS, and Excel Online, allowing developers to create their own powerful formulae. But we saw it coming: Security researcher Charles Dardaman leveraged this feature to show how easy it is to embed the infamous in-browser cryptocurrency mining script from CoinHive inside an MS Excel spreadsheet and run it in the background when opened. "In order to run Coinhive in Excel, I followed Microsoft's official documentation and just added my own function," Dardaman said . Here is an official doc

Unpatched Microsoft Word DDE Exploit Being Used In Widespread Malware Attacks

Unpatched Microsoft Word DDE Exploit Being Used In Widespread Malware Attacks
October 20, 2017Swati Khandelwal
A newly discovered unpatched attacking method that exploits a built-in feature of Microsoft Office is currently being used in various widespread malware attack campaigns. Last week we reported how hackers could leveraging an old Microsoft Office feature called Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE), to perform malicious code execution on the targeted device without requiring Macros enabled or memory corruption. DDE protocol is one of the several methods that Microsoft uses to allow two running applications to share the same data. The protocol is being used by thousands of apps, including MS Excel, MS Word, Quattro Pro, and Visual Basic for one-time data transfers and for continuous exchanges for sending updates to one another. The DDE exploitation technique displays no "security" warnings to victims, except asking them if they want to execute the application specified in the command—although this popup alert could also be eliminated "with proper syntax modification.&quo

Malware behind Microsoft Excel-based Sudoku generator

Malware behind Microsoft Excel-based Sudoku generator
December 20, 2012Mohit Kumar
Sudoku is one such game that I believe will benefit your brain, but now not for your system. Peter Szabo from SophosLabs have identified a piece of malware that resides behind a Microsoft Excel-based Sudoku generator. The Malware developed in Visual Basic requires macros, a scripting language that allows users to create equations based on values in different columns and rows. Microsoft disable macros by default , because in past macros were the weapon of choice for cyber criminals . But in order for the generator to work, the user must activate macros. Unfortunately, while the user is enjoying the Sudoku, the macro is installing malware in the targeted machine. Keyboard and mouse macros allow sequences of keystrokes and mouse actions to be transformed into shorter commands and also it can easily gathers system information by using the ipconfig, systeminfo like commands. Once the bug has collected a machine's IP address, running processes, installed applications
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