SOURCE: Cyberoam

October 22, 2007 09:27 ET

Massive MP3 Spam Outbreak Hits Users; Constitutes 7-10% of Global Spam

Cyberoam Identity-Based UTM's Anti-Spam Provides Proactive Protection Against Outbreak

NEWBURYPORT, MA--(Marketwire - October 22, 2007) - Cyberoam, a leading provider of identity-based Unified Threat Management solutions, today announced a massive outbreak of a new spam variant -- the MP3 attachment spam. This new spam tactic began at 21:24 GMT on October 17, 2007 and has been flooding users, accounting for around 7-10% of all global spam.

The MP3 files in the spam mails are voice messages promoting stocks. Spammers are innovating constantly to find new ways of making money and MP3 spam is yet another progression in this innovation. As was the case with PDF spam mails, MP3 spam mails have also been highly randomized in order to avoid email filters.

"Attackers are always in search of new variants to target users," said Joshua Block, Vice President of North American Operations, Cyberoam Identity-based UTM. "MP3 spam promoting stocks has been flooding users after image, PDF and excel spam. This outbreak is another instance of the financial nature of attacks and lends credence to the fact that spam is no longer just a nuisance."

The categories of file names include emotional songs, such as dadsong.mp3, oursong.mp3, weddingsong.mp3; as well as popular songs from famous artists like santana.mp3, sayyousayme.mp3, smashingpumpkins.mp3, bbrown.mp3, bspears.mp3, gloriaestefan.mp3, beatles.mp3, and other random sounds, such as answeringmachine.mp3, coolringtone.mp3 and listentothis.mp3. No viral threat has been identified so far in these messages.

According to Block, "The strength of the new variants is that users are caught unaware. By the time warnings arrive, the particular variant is already on the decline and attackers are looking for another, unsuspected application to target users with."

The MP3 spam messages have been found to be much larger than "traditional" spam, even larger than their predecessors -- image spam and PDF spam. The average size of the message is 85KB, but has reached up to 147KB. The message contents have been found to be mostly empty, and in most cases, the subjects contain just "Fwd:" or "Re:" or the name of the file attachment.

According to industry sources, the estimated cost of spam to the global economy is approximately $25 billion per year, causing financial and productivity loss for service providers, enterprises and end-users alike. The format of spam attacks has evolved to manipulate and escape anti-spam solutions available in the industry. The objective is fulfilled by the use of sophisticated techniques, which keep changing to evade existing spam detection applications.

To combat rapidly evolving spam mails from reaching inboxes, enterprises need zero-hour solutions for early detection and real-time blocking of spam outbreaks. Cyberoam's anti-spam solution is an answer for proactive defense against such spam outbreaks.

As Cyberoam does not rely on the contents of the email, it is able to detect spam in any language and in every message format, non-English characters, single and double byte, etc. Its language- and content-agnostic nature enables it to provide effective spam blocking from image-based spam against the present onslaught of MP3 spam.

The technology makes Cyberoam anti-spam solution highly scalable, enabling it to deliver extremely high performance rates by analyzing millions of new patterns each day, (24x7x365). New outbreaks are identified within minutes from the time they are launched on the Internet globally.

To learn more about Cyberoam's anti-spam solution and its unique identity-based UTM solutions, please contact Rebecca Paquette at cyberoam@shiftcomm.com, or visit www.cyberoam.com.

About Cyberoam

Cyberoam, a division of Elitecore, is a leading innovator of identity-based Unified Threat Management appliances offering a comprehensive range of security features, including identity-based firewall, VPN, gateway antivirus, gateway anti-spam, intrusion detection and prevention, content filtering, as well as bandwidth management and multiple link management -- all over a single platform. Cyberoam offers robust Internet security to corporations, educational institutions and government organizations worldwide, and its solutions are certified by the ICSA Labs, an independent division of Verizon Business, and the Virtual Private Network Consortium. Cyberoam's solutions have also received the 2007 Global Excellence Awards for Integrated Security Appliance, Security Solution for Education and Unified Security, and the 2007 Tomorrow's Technology Today Award for Unified Security. Cyberoam has offices in the Newburyport, MA and India. For more information, please visit www.cyberoam.com.

About Elitecore Technologies

Elitecore Technologies Limited is a leading provider of convergent billing, provisioning and customer acquisition solutions, and Unified Threat Management Solutions. Elitecore's divisions include Crestel, meeting the voice, data, video billing and customer care requirements of tier-one service providers; and Cyberoam, the leading innovator of identity-based UTM solutions that offers integrated Internet security with fine granularity through unique user identity-based policies. Elitecore was established in 1999 by Eclipse Micro Computer Inc., and possesses a strong R&D base and support center based in India, allowing the Company to sustain a healthy growth rate of more than 75 percent since inception. For more information, please visit www.elitecore.com.