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MP3 Spam Continues to Survive

According to many security researchers busy in tracking the MP3 spam phenomenon, the rage of MP3 spam goes on. They report that when in October 2007 spammers sent MP3 audio attachments to pump and dump stocks, the volume of such spam surged to account for 10% of the entire spam traffic in just 18 hours.

But after that, the MP3 form of spam in which spammers attach messages in an MP3 audio file started to fall. In November 2007, this spam was responsible for only 0.04% of all spam, declining by 33%, while during the peak periods, MP3 spam comprised of 7%-10% of worldwide spam.

The outbreak of MP3 spam had been the latest tactic during the recent months when spam was more than just text ads. The technique was able to bypass filters as they found it difficult to search for typical signs of a junk message and thus unable to block the embedded MP3 file attachments.

According to Joe Stewart, Senior Security Researcher with SecureWorks, at first, he felt that the audio spam, which clearly and cleverly bypassed filters, would perhaps yield low rate of success in the game of pump and dump. This could be both due to poor audio quality and due to end user mediation needed that would limit investing respondents. Computerworld published this on January 8, 2008.

Stewart points out that visual spam only requires a glance to click. And to make things worse, many times by simply selecting the message in the inbox, the spam is displayed, preventing the user to avoid viewing. Computerworld.com published this.

According to some researchers, the MP3 documents used titles like weddingsong.mp3, oursong.mp3 among others. Thus, when a user opens the file, he hears a voice talking about a penny stock. Further, the audio quality of the synthesized voice is very poor, researchers say. Computerworld published this.

Senior Communications Manger, Dave Marcus, with McAfee Avert Labs said that spammers seemed to cycle their techniques by using PDF spam first, moving on to MP3 spam and then returning to Storm-style mailers. ITWorldCanadablog published this news on January 8, 2008.

Related article: MoAB Disclose Two Bugs On Two Successive Days

» SPAMfighter News - 1/21/2008

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