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Audio Spam Files On The Way

     
3:57 pm on Oct 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The e-mail security firm Proofpoint of Sunnyvale, Calif., and others caught these audio messages earlier this week in the dummy e-mail in-boxes, called honeypots, they use to trap new kinds of spam. The messages were blank but contained MP3 attachments of around 95 kilobytes around the size of a cellphone ring tone. The attachments were audio files all pumping up the same penny stock.

This could be a virulent new form of unsolicited e-mail. Anti-spam companies like Proofpoint are not equipped to analyze the underlying audio and convert it back into text. But their filters can key off other indicators in the e-mail headers, e-mail structure and file size.

Audio Spam Files On The Way [bits.blogs.nytimes.com]

3:58 pm on Oct 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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And I thought ads on sites that made noise were annoying as you know what.

Thank god I don't open any attachments unless I know exactly where they are coming from.

5:13 pm on Oct 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I received one of these myself a few days ago. I look at this as a good thing, obviously the spam filters are having a greater affect on their ability to distribute the trash we have all come to despise which is making them come up with different methods.

Thank god I don't open any attachments unless I know exactly where they are coming from.

To the best of my knowledge no one has ever been infected by a data file such as audio or video file. By virulent they meant that the technique would spread not that it posed any risk to a users computer. The only vulnetability I have ever heard of was a vulnerability reading the EXIF data from .jpg's. Some MS applications were affected, not sure if it was same vulnerability but php had one as well.

8:22 pm on Oct 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Wow, I wonder what the Viagra and porn SPAM is going to sound like... *cough*

I apologize for the poor humor, but I couldn't resist.

8:35 pm on Oct 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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CNN just ran a story about this too.

Marshall

1:23 pm on Oct 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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There have been several problems with Safari (at least) where images have caused buffer overflows leading to potentially exploitable situations. Actually, isn't this how they unlocked the iPhone again recently? I'm not sure if any of these were ever out 'in the wild' but it's probably only a matter of time.

But this is getting OT...

1:47 pm on Oct 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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like I am not getting loads of spam these days and the audio spam will be the last drop
9:52 pm on Oct 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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What are you going to do when the video shows up? Don't laugh, I can make a 3 minute WMV consisting of a 10 picture slideshow and decent audio that comes in around 300-400KB if I remember correctly. Most of that consists of the audio. This isn't some postage stamp video either but 720x480 or near there, been a while I forget the exact specs. It was tutorial I created for emailing slideshow.
10:11 pm on Oct 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I'd much prefer a blank email with an attachment to the crap that comes now. I'd just stop media files from getting through my email server. Nobody ever sends them to me anyway and if I do want to *cough* borrow a song from a friend, it goes on my server.
10:16 pm on Oct 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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For those not yet filtering your email through gmail, give it a shot.
My experience has been only one or two spams manage get to through each month and zero false positives.

I am sure they will catch all the audio files.
Who the heck will allow audio attachments though anyway?

8:19 pm on Oct 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I saw some spammy (I'm assuming) audio files using LimeWire -- a long list of duplicate files, 10 for each version, that open .exe files on your computer when you download them. Needless to say, no audio.