Skip to main content

PineApp warns Netters over the new generation of MP3 media spam

PineApp (opens in new tab), the email and network security specialist, has warned 'Netters to be aware of unwanted MP3 audio media messages, (opens in new tab)which it says are a form of audio spam.

The company claims that the first mass "pump and dump" stock market spam - promoting a company called Exit Only - hit the Internet this month with MP3 audio attachments encouraging unsuspecting punters to buy shares.

Just like image based spam, PineApp says (opens in new tab) that the latest audio versions are far more troublesome to an email server than text based messages owing to their larger file sizes.

Whilst recorded at a low bit rate for around 30 seconds, the audio spam still comes in at around 85 KB, compared to around 12 KB for text-based spam. All of this means, the firm says, that spaMP3, as it calls the new spam, can quickly clog up email servers.

The bad news, of course, is that conventional anti-spam technology cannot normally spot spaMP3 messages, as they do not conform to standard spam patterns.

Email origination spotting anti-spam systems like Cloudmark, however, which pools information between users, can stop spaMP3, as can PineApp's Recurrent Pattern Detection (opens in new tab) (RPD) software.

According to Steve Cornish, sales and marketing director with PineApp UK, spammers have now picked up on the trend to send and receive short audio files that could be ringtones or comedy clips.

"We expect to see an increase in volume as well as more malicious versions of spaMP3 emerging over the months running up to Christmas," he said, adding that it is important that organisations take another look at their spam protection and think seriously about implementing a next-generation solution to counter the problem.

"If a message gets through, however, it is important for users to delete it straight away as opening lets the sender know that the email account is active," he added...