MP3 Spam Campaign Back in Action
December 29, 2009Security researchers have issued a warning that cyber criminals have recently launched spam campaigns wherein audio files along with advertising material are sent to people via e-mails. These spam mails (neither a subject line nor a body text, but just an MP3 file attached) are making the rounds in huge amounts, the researchers alerted.
Both Symantec's MessageLabs and Trend Micro reported that they intercepted e-mails that had web-links leading to certain Canadian pharmacy site. If users viewed the e-mails, they heard an audio for 5 seconds, promoting the pharmaceuticals site.
Although there is no attack code in the e-mails and the campaign is apparently a normal spamming operation, yet security researchers have noted the attack significantly. Moreover, the particular spam is not designed to load a malicious program on users' PCs, but the TrendLabs experts have advised users not to open or run attachments forwarded by unfamiliar senders.
Paul Wood, Senior Researcher at MessageLabs, noted that it had become out of fashion to dispatch spam with MP3 files and the technique largely became obscure, as reported by V3 on December 19, 2009.
In fact, security researchers state that MP3 spam can be described as a failed experiment. Its demonstration tape is something no one bothers to keep in mind. Hence, its comeback after 2 years is rather puzzling. Spammers now send hyperlinks, which divert users to their malicious websites. These are the only attachments they use in place of heavy audio files.
Furthermore, Wood stated that there were many similarities in the MP3 spam of 2007 and the most recent spam. However, it couldn't be determined if the two campaigns arrived from a common spam gang, as reported by Webuser on December 18, 2009.
Notably, the current spam assault represents the second spam operation discovered recently that uses traditional techniques of distributing unsolicited e-mails. During the 3rd week of December 2009, the malware botnet namely 'Donbot' was using the option of traditional "pump and dump" stock trick so that its operators could churn revenues, the researchers noted.