Feeds

Pump-and-dump scammers debut MP3 spam

Duff note

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Tor attack nodes RIPPED MASKS off users for 6 MONTHS
Traffic confirmation attack bared users' privates - but to whom?
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
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.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.