Spam has taken a new twist this month with a large number of unsolicited emails appearing which feature an embedded Midi file that plays music the second the email is either previewed or opened whilst the user is online, according to email management specialist Email Systems.
The mails, which are being sent from the Far East, are relatively simple HTML spam emails, with the primary difference being the addition of music. Whilst this latest addition to the spammers arsenal of attention-seeking tactics appears to be relatively innocuous, it opens the door for other highly undesirable possibilities such as pornographic or offensive voice-recordings embedded within emails which the user would unwittingly play in front of friends or colleagues just by receiving the email.
Moreover, the fact that the spammers are embedding files within the email again serves to underline the more sinister potential for embedding cookies or other programs within spam emails which enable the spammer to covertly track or monitor the users actions whilst online.
Neil Hammerton, CEO of Email Systems, said:
Whilst the music itself is fairly harmless, it is a sign that spammers are increasingly willing to embed information within the spam emails being distributed. What is worrying with this latest trend is that many users who have not muted the volume control on their PC may become the unwitting targets. At the very least, these musical mails has the potential to make the recipient appear to be the object of ridicule amongst colleagues and the potential is there for the effect to be far more than that of just ridicule. Clearly this is entirely unsuitable for the corporate environment.