I was never very good at Excel sheets, to be honest. I think they’re confusing, and sometimes they require a map to get your point across.

That’s probably a good thing for me (and the millions of other people who were a lot better at English than math in school), considering the recent spike in Excel spam.

The point of these spam messages is to push penny stocks as part of pump-and-dump scams. One example cited by messaging security vendor IronPort is a campaign for Exchange Mobile, EM1 on the Frankfurt stock exchange.

Here’s IronPort’s description of the scam, which is fairly typical Excel spam:

"Excel spam is spam that is sent as text inside an Excel file. This spam type first appeared on July 21, 2007. Typically, spam is sent in text or image format, but in the last month spammers have exploited PDF and Excel file types in an attempt to bypass anti-spam technologies not trained to scan these file types. The emergence of Excel and PDF spam proves the high degree of spammer sophistication; spammers can exploit new file formats and send out this spam in high volumes. Within hours of their release, Excel and PDF spam represented as much as 17 percent of total spam volumes."