Feeds

Pump-and-dump scammers debut MP3 spam

Duff note

Reducing security risks from open source software

Stock spammers have abandoned PDF files and image spam with a new campaign featuring MP3 files.

The audio files pose as music from stars such as Elvis Presley and Fergie, but actually contain a monotone voice encouraging punters to invest in an obscure Canadian company.

The MP3 files are being widely spammed in emails that often contain no subject line or message body, net security firm Sophos reports. Some of the filenames used include hurricanechris.mp3, allforone.mp3, carrieunderwood.mp3, elvis.mp3, baby.mp3, fergie.mp3, and bbrown.mp3.

The female (apparently British) voice on the MP3 file, recorded at low bit-rate and randomly altered to avoid detection by anti-spam filters, seeks to attract interest in Exit Only, a Canadian firm that runs a website marketplace for new and used motors. Sophos has posted a 30 second example of the stock spam MP3 file here.

Quite who would respond to such an unsolicited pitch is hard to fathom. Anti-virus firms advise users to block MP3 files in email.

The Exit Only spam campaign is the latest variant in pump-and-dump scams, a type of fraud that now accounts for 25 per cent of all junk emails compared to just 0.8 per cent in January 2005, according to Sophos.

Pump-and-dump scams are email campaigns that seek to encourage armchair investors to sink their cash into particular firms' stock.

The goal is to quickly inflate interest in low-value stock with bogus insider info in order to ramp up share prices and sell at a profit before the inevitable crash and burn. Meanwhile, those duped are left holding possibly worthless shares. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Microsoft: You NEED bad passwords and should re-use them a lot
Dirty QWERTY a perfect P@ssword1 for garbage websites
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
Crooks fling banking Trojan at Japanese smut site fans
Wait - they're doing online banking with an unpatched Windows PC?
NIST told to grow a pair and kick NSA to the curb
Lrn2crypto, oversight panel tells US govt's algorithm bods
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.