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In February 2022, Microsoft disabled VBA macros on documents due to their frequent use as a malware distribution method. This move prompted malware authors to seek out new ways to distribute their payloads, resulting in an increase in the use of other infection vectors, such as password-encrypted zip files and ISO files.
OneNote documents have emerged as a new infection vector, which contain malicious code that executes when the document is interacted with. Emotet and Qakbot, among other high-end stealers and crypters, are known malware threats that use OneNote attachments.
Researchers are currently developing new tools and analysis strategies to detect and prevent these OneNote attachments from being used as a vehicle for infection. This article highlights this new development and discusses the techniques that malicious actors use to compromise a system.