Can mp3 files contain malware

I recently downloaded a shady mp3 file and played it with mpv. Should I be concerned

I personally don’t think you need to be concerned but, yes, media files can be malicious.

However they can not infect a system by themselves. They need to exploit a vulnerability or an external extraction utility is needed.

MP3, WMV, MOV, etc are all media files. They can be created with Exploit Code (example). Thus the files are malicious. For example, let’s say there is a Vulnerability in Windows Media Player with MP3 files. A MP3 file could be created with the intent of exploiting that vulnerability and if it is successful, attempt to infect the host with some payload.


Sounds about right to me (though I’m no expert). I’d say in general there’s not a whole lot to worry about as long as you keep all your software up-to-date, and while it’s more important with actual executable files, getting files of any kind from trustworthy sources never hurts.