".DOTX" Document Attachments that Contain Macro Viruses

Cyber-criminals are sending fake emails with a Microsoft Office ".dotx" document attached in an attempt to infect their potential victims’ computers with viruses, Trojan horse or other malware. The malicious file attachment contains a set of malicious code or instructions called a Macro, which when enabled, will download and infect the victims’ computers with viruses, Trojan horse or other malware. So, only trusted Microsoft Office documents with Macros should be open.

.DOTX Document Attachments that Contain Macro Viruses

A ".DOTX" file is a template created by Microsoft Word, a word processing program. It contains macros, which is a series of commands and instructions that you group together as a single command to accomplish a task automatically.

A few years ago Microsoft disabled Macro in Microsoft Office by default because of Macro viruses. Macro is a very powerful and productive tool for Microsoft Office because it helps users automate simple and complex tasks in Microsoft Office. But, this productive tool was misused by cyber-criminals, who realized that they could use it to download and infect their victims' computers with malware. So, due to this threat, Microsoft disabled Macro in Microsoft Office by default and gave users the ability to enable it, if the document that they are opening is a trusted one.

Microsoft Word or Excel Prompting a User to Enable Macro or “Enable Content”

Macro Security Warning - Macros have been disabled - Enable Content

How to Protect Yourself

If you are sent an unexpected email message with an attached .dotx document, ask to open the document, and then ask to enable "Editing", Macro or "Content" in order to view the content, please delete the document. Enabling "Editing", Macro or "Content" will run or execute the malicious code or Macro, which will download and install Trojan horse, viruses or other malware on your computer.

Once your computer has become infected, especially with a Trojan horse, the cybercriminals behind the email message will be able to access and take control of your computer remotely from anywhere around the world. They may spy on you, use your computer to commit cybercrimes, or steal your personal and financial information.

If you were tricked into opening a malicious .dotx file and enabling "Editing", Macro or "Content", we recommend doing a full scan of your computer with the antivirus software installed on it. If you don’t have antivirus software installed on your computer, please click here for a list of free antivirus software.

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Note: Some of the information in samples on this website may have been impersonated or spoofed.
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".DOTX" Document Attachments that Contain Macro Viruses