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Enable excel macros on production server??

Posted on 2009-05-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Hi Fellow experts,

I'm stuck between a client and a vendor, and I need to validate my response to this issue:

The client has a production server that runs an IIS_based health care app.
The vendor recently came out with an "enhancement" whereby a user could upload an excel file to the server, the server would then run a set of macros to process the data and further upload the resultant data to a government system.

My first reaction is "WTF, you want me to enable excel macros on a production server, AND the user uploads the excel files from their own PC????"

I asked them what if the excel file the user uploads is macro infested?   Response: "hmmmm"

Am I off-base here?  Is there a way to secure all of this that I am not aware of?
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Question by:SunnySlacker
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Brian Withun earned 500 total points
ID: 24330320
You could issue digital certificates to the users who will be uploading these workbooks, and require them to be digitally signed macros.  Make sure these are real certificates, issued by a reliable certificate authorithy like Thawt or Verisign.

On the server, trust the issuing certificate authority so that Excel will run the signed macros without challenging them.

From VisualBasic: Tools > Digital Signature...

Then, nobody except your certificate holders will be able to get their macros to run on your server.

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