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[ RESOLVED ] Application Hardening blocks access to vbscript.dll


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I make heavy use of Excel macros - like all the time. Malwarebytes is blocking access to C:\Windows\SysWOW64\vbscript.dll from VBA which means the macros stop running. This is the specific bit of code which is pretty innocuous:

Dim RegEx As New VBScript_RegExp_55.RegExp
RegEx.IgnoreCase = True

No problem I thought, I'll add an exception for this file but this doesn't allow the script to run: https://i.imgur.com/hZ0gmfl.png

Any ideas? Can't even work out how to turn off application hardening?

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Hello.

Lets give this a try.    Have Excel closed before starting this adjustment.  The adjustment is to change from the default setting of not allowing loading of VBscript on MS Office apps.

Start Malwarebytes.  Click Settings icon at top bar.

Click the Security tab.   scroll down to Exploit protection.  then click on Advanced Settings.

On the tab "Application hardening"  un-tick the box under MS Office    for "Disable loading of VBscript libraries".

Just that one box.   Then click the Apply button.

 

Then test that out.

 

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Greetings,

You might also refer to this article which explains why VBScript is considered risky and is also likely the reason that Malwarebytes blocks it by default (it is also no longer supported by Microsoft and they have been eliminating support for it throughout all of their platforms and applications over the past several years).

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FYI, you can find info specific to MS Office and the use of VBScript here.  Given the frequency of use of VBScript for malware execution (particularly exploits), I would definitely recommend blocking VBScript and switching over to PowerShell if possible, but of course it is your system and if you have functions that rely on it without a PowerShell alternative or any other means outside of using VBScript then that is something you will have to weigh and decide on.  I'm just providing this information in case you were not aware and for the benefit of anyone else who might come across this thread.

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  • 2 weeks later...

>I would definitely recommend blocking VBScript and switching over to PowerShell if possible

This is Excel application written in VBA, not a script so switching to PowerShell isn't an option. I've never been a big fan of VBScript anyway - adopted PowerShell years ago.

The problem here appears to be the use of the Microsoft VBScript Regular Expressions DLL from within VBA, not VBscript as such. Stored in C:\Windows\SysWOW64\vbscript.dll\3

It's this DLL that's being blocked, not VBScript itself. But maybe that's the only way Malwarebytes can block VBScript and has this as a side effect.

We're only using this DLL in VBA for regular expressions. There might be another DLL/library for regular expressions that we could switch to with little effort.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 1/7/2020 at 3:08 PM, Maurice Naggar said:

Hello.

Lets give this a try.    Have Excel closed before starting this adjustment.  The adjustment is to change from the default setting of not allowing loading of VBscript on MS Office apps.

Start Malwarebytes.  Click Settings icon at top bar.

Click the Security tab.   scroll down to Exploit protection.  then click on Advanced Settings.

On the tab "Application hardening"  un-tick the box under MS Office    for "Disable loading of VBscript libraries".

Just that one box.   Then click the Apply button.

 

Then test that out.

 

Thanks, this setting change works for me. I had the exact same problem with Malwarebytes Premium blocking vbscript.dll when my Excel VBA code attempts to use regexp. I've been a long time user of Malwarebytes and Excel VBA, and this has only started happening recently.

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  • 5 months later...
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