In this paper, we propose a system for file classification in large data sets based on spiking neural networks (SNNs). File information contained in key-value metadata pairs is mapped by a novel correlative temporal encoding scheme to spike patterns that are input to an SNN. The correlation between input spike patterns is determined by a file similarity measure. Unsupervised training of such networks using spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) is addressed first. Then, supervised SNN training is considered by backpropagation of an error signal that is obtained by comparing the spike pattern at the output neurons with a target pattern representing the desired class. The classification accuracy is measured for various publicly available data sets with tens of thousands of elements, and compared with other learning algorithms, including logistic regression and support vector machines. Simulation results indicate that the proposed SNN-based system using memristive synapses may represent a valid alternative to classical machine learning algorithms for inference tasks, especially in environments with asynchronous ingest of input data and limited resources.