Why does editing a Word or Excel file from unknown sources can present a security risk while just opening and reading it is safe?

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Why does editing a Word or Excel file from unknown sources can present a security risk while just opening and reading it is safe?

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When in read only mode the file cannot execute any hidden scripts that will act maliciously.

Once you enable editing, the script can run, and performance tasks in the background that the user may be blind to.

I would hazard a guess and say the majority of office users in the world have no clue how powerful the advanced features of the office suit are.

Word and Excel both contain some powerful tools for automating certain tasks with scripts and macros that can be embedded into the document.

A malicious attacker can use these tools in ways that make your computer do things you’d rather it not do.

Read only mode offers some protection against these types of attacks.

It isn’t necessarily safe, tough perhaps “safer”! Don’t open anything from an unknown source. If you’re not expecting it, then it’s probably not something you should look at (sorry, you didn’t get this magic tax rebate)