PowerPoint is more dangerous than ever

In its latest findings, McAfee has discovered that there has been a surge in malicious PowerPoint documents.
In its latest findings, McAfee has discovered that there has been a surge in malicious PowerPoint documents.


McAfee has discovered a new trend in cyberattacks that has risen this year: the phishing campaign that utilizes macro capabilities available in Microsoft PowerPoint.


How is an attack launched?


An attacker will send a spam email with a PowerPoint document attached. When the user opens the PowerPoint, the VBA macro executes to deliver variants of the well-known password stealer, AgentTesla.


What is AgentTesla?


AgentTesla is a RAT (Remote Access Trojan) malware that was discovered in 2014. RATs like this are used as a MASS (Malware-As-A-Service) for attackers to steal under credentials via screenshots, keylogging, and clipboard information.

From Q1 to Q2, McAfee has seen PPT malware attacks triple in 2021. In these attacks, the spam email contains an attached file with a .ppam extension, a PowerPoint file containing VBA code. The sentiment used was finance-related themes such as: “New PO300093 Order” as shown below, where the attachment’s filename is “300093.pdf.ppam”.

PowerPoint, Security & Data, PowerPoint is more dangerous than ever

PPAM files were first introduced in 2007 upon the release of Microsoft Office 2007. It is a PowerPoint macro-enabled Open XML add-in file and contains features that extend default PowerPoint Functions.

Since PowerPoint supports ‘add-ins’ developed by third parties to add new features, attackers abuse this feature to automatically execute macros. To learn more about how McAfee breaks down how to track the files released from the macros here.

READ MORE:
Symptoms of a wider issue

Earlier this year, Proofpoint and leading cybersecurity and top IT security research organization, Ponemon Institute, released a new study examining the Cost of Phishing. The report has revealed that the cost associated with phishing attacks has almost quadrupled in the last six years. As a result, large companies in the US are losing an average of US$14.8mn annually, or $1,500 per employee. This is a drastic $3.8mn increase from 2015’s figure.

For more news from Top Business Tech, don’t forget to subscribe to our daily bulletin!

Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter

PowerPoint, Security & Data, PowerPoint is more dangerous than ever

Amber Donovan-Stevens

Amber is a Content Editor at Top Business Tech

Personalization is the beating heart of successful hybrid cloud

Amber Donovan-Stevens • 27th November 2021

In the post-millennial era of real world cloud deployment, the modern digitally distributed nature of businesses requires a range of infrastructure options to allow each customer to leverage a mix of cloud technologies to best suit their unique needs while optimizing the associated costs. How can we enable this kind of flexibility in the face...

The Best Ten Rated Cloud Security Management Options For Business

Erin Laurenson • 24th November 2021

Cloud Security programs that can carry out safety procedures and address or flag potential high-risk elements are now critical, allowing businesses to function normally without fearing a potential breach. To help you find the best Cloud management and security system for your business, we’ve done the research and found the top systems presently available on...

How the cloud can drive organizational sustainability goals

Amber Donovan-Stevens • 24th October 2021

Mark Hughes, RVP of UK & Ireland, Epicor, explores cloud computing’s implications for organisational sustainability practices and introduces the key findings of Epicor’s survey of technology decision-makers in the US and the UK.xplains how cloud technology can spearhead an organizations sustainability initiatives.