Is Your Favourite Song A Virus In Disguise?

One of the most beloved arts in the world is music. There is very rarely a time when you are going to find someone who doesn’t like to listen to music. It is probably one of the most universal items that we all enjoy. With the new technology that has been released over the past couple of years, enjoying music is now easier than ever. The rise of digital music has increased the love of music more than ever.

It all started with the digital MP3 players that were released around a decade ago. They were useful but the interfaces that most of them had left a lot to be desired. They were too complicated for the average person to use. Then Apple was able to come up with the IPod and the explosion of digital music began. Now you have a digital music player in every phone that you purchase. But with the ease of use of the new digital files that we use come some problems as well. And some of these problems are of a security nature.

is your favourite song a virus in disguise?

A black hat hacker’s target

When you are a black hat hacker, you need some way to be able to get your corrupted files on the victim’s computer. While you can trick them by getting them to come to your web site, it is a lot of the times easier to pretend to be a file that they are already searching for. This is why a lot of the time, black hat hackers will disguise their viruses as MP3 files.

As we mentioned earlier in the article, the popularity of MP3’s has been exploding for over a decade now. And this is not going to stop anytime soon. The only problem that keeps changing is where people go to download the MP3 that they want. Most of the times it is in a service like iTunes but that was not always the case. Before iTunes become popular, people would go online to download digital files in places where it was illegal. They really had no choice in the matter. They wanted to be able to play music on the digital players that they had purchased but there were very few places online that offered a large amount of legal music to download. That all changed when iTunes came in the picture.

But by that time it was too late. People started to get into the habit of going to illegal places to download music. Not everyone, but still a large enough sample that the activity was able to put a dent into music sales. These people still go to these download sites because it is easy and convenient. But there is also danger there as well.

This is now where black hat hackers target their victims. They know that enough people go to these sites that they have a large amount of victims to fish from. All they have to do is to offer a file that is disguised to look like a MP3 of a popular song at the moment and then they have the people hooked. They are then able to insert their malware inside of the computer.

People get fooled and click on executable files because the black hat hackers will do something as simple as change the file endings of the infected file. So when the person looks at the file they see a MP3 ending and not the executable ending that it really is. If you know what you are looking for then it is pretty easy to spot this flaw but most people do not look that close up.

But MP3 files are not the only type of music files that can become infected. So can .wmv files. These types of files are known as native Windows Media Files. These types of files allow embedding inside of them and if you are not careful you could be downloading something else along with that .wmv file. While the problem is not as bad as it was, it is still a bit of problem and something that you must be aware of.

You have to remember that when you are downloading music from an unofficial site that you are taking a big chance when it comes to security. You never know what files are good and what files are bad until after they are already on your computer. If you insist on getting files in this manner then you must be ready to face the dangers. So even though they are only music files, make sure that you scan them with your favorite antivirus software when they download on to your computer. And also make sure that the antivirus is updated. That is the only way you will have a chance of keeping your computer safe when it comes to this type of activity.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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