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Stock Spammers Use MP3 Files to Dupe Investors

Spammers, who are involved in the pump-and-dump frauds touting as penny stocks, are making use of MP3 files to attract investors now. The Switch Security experts said that it is most recent trick used to send the messages without being detected by the spam filters.

A France-based anti-spam Consultant and Researcher who tracks new variety of spam, John Graham-Cumming, said that the sent spam messages encourage recipients to purchase a stock. The messages have MP3 audio attachment, but there is no text or subject line. Macworld published this on October 18, 2007. Mr. Cumming also said that this is the first case of its kind.

The audio messages have different lengths and a warbled and robot-like voice in British accent. It urges the recipients to invest into Exit Only Inc. The company owns the Website www.text4Cars.com based in Santa Monica, California. The site links vehicle purchasers and sells through Short Message Service (SMS). Exit denied its involvement in sending any spam.

As per David Dion, the CEO of Exit Only Inc., he had come to know of the spam on October 17, 2007 morning. After that, he informed the US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) and also said that the company was not involved in the spam issue in any way.

According to MessageLabs, an e-mail security provider, spam run started on October 17, 2007, and almost 10,000 messages were sent in one hour. The e-mails included semi-random subject lines, somewhat similar to the title of attached MP3 file. The file played a short, some 20 to 30 second message touting the microcap shares of Exit Only Inc., as published by washingtonpost.com on October 18, 2007.

The SecureWorks revealed that these messages are the most recent of all the methods that the criminals controlling hundreds and thousands of personal computers infected by Storm Worm use. SecureWorks also said that different MP3s have the same content, but to make the recording different, it recorded at minutely different bit rates. This unique recording helped in preventing the easy filtering at e-mail gateways. washingtonpost.com published this on October 18, 2007.

Spammers invest in low-priced stocks and send out spam. This makes innocent investors to purchase it and raise the price of the stock. When the stock price increases, the spammers benefit and make money, causing the stock to fall abruptly and harming the other investors.

Related article: Stock Spamming On the Rise

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