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Published Oct 17, 2017 | Updated Jan 10, 2018


Detected by Microsoft Defender Antivirus

Aliases: No associated aliases


Microsoft Defender Antivirus detects and removes this threat.

This threat uses malicious Office documents using dynamic data exchange (DDE) to deliver PowerShell downloaders. It runs when a user clicks on a pop-up dialog box that appears in malicious Office documents. 

To learn more about mitigating DDE attack scenarios, read Microsoft Security Advisory 4053440.

Windows Defender Exploit Guard blocks DDE-based malware using Attack Surface Reduction (ASR) rules. ASR is a component within Windows Defender Exploit Guard that provides enterprises with a set of built-in intelligence that can block the underlying behaviors used by malicious documents to execute attacks without hindering product operation. To learn more about Windows Defender Exploit Guard, read: Windows Defender Exploit Guard: Reduce the attack surface against next-generation malware

The trend towards increasingly sophisticated malware behavior, highlighted by the use of exploits and other attack vectors, makes older platforms so much more susceptible to ransomware attacks. From June to November 2017, Windows 7 devices were 3.4 times more likely to encounter ransomware compared to Windows 10 devices.

Read our latest report: A worthy upgrade: Next-gen security on Windows 10 proves resilient against ransomware outbreaks in 2017.


Use the following free Microsoft software to detect and remove this threat:

You should also run a full scan. A full scan might find hidden malware.

Use cloud protection

Use cloud protection to help guard against the latest malware threats. It’s turned on by default for Microsoft Security Essentials and Windows Defender for Windows 10. 

Go to All settings > Update & security > Windows Defender and make sure that your Cloud-based Protection settings is turned On.

Get more help

Read Microsoft Security Advisory 4053440 to learn how to securely open Microsoft Office documents that contain Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) fields.

You can also see our advanced troubleshooting page or search the Microsoft virus and malware community for more help.

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