“Harry Potter” Computer Worm Infecting PCs

112

Jun 29, 2007

Posted by EdwardTLC
Uncategorized

The Australian is reporting, a very serious computer worm (a self-replicating computer program) is being spread to computers via what people think is a word document file containing the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows book stored on a flash drive, or similar medium. The W32/Hairy-A worm is spread to Windows users primarily through USB memory drives, which users plug into their computers and unknowingly transfer the malicious software to their hard drive, which in turn, copies itself to other USB memory drives and continues the cycle with any other PCs it is connected to. The article goes into further detail on this worm saying:

A file called “HarryPotter-TheDeathlyHallows.doc” can be found on infected PCs and once opened the only words inside are: Harry Potter is dead.

But it doesn’t end there.

The worm also creates a number of new Windows users on the computer which are named after the main characters in JK Rowling’s popular books including Harry Potter, Hermione Grainger and Ron Weasley.

Logging in to any of these new users and a message which sounds like it appeared from the evil Lord Voldemort himself can be seen: “Read and repent, the end is near, repent from your evil ways O Ye folks lest you burn in hell . . . JK Rowling especially”.

In addition whenever infected users open Internet Explorer they will find their home page has been re-directed to an Amazon.com web page selling the spoof book Harry Putter and the Chamber of Cheesecakes.

The report goes on to quote from a senior technology consultant, Graham Cluley, from internet security company Sophos who says of the wider effects and seriousness of this worm:

“Much of the world is waiting with bated breath for the final Harry Potter novel, and the premiere of the new movie is looming too so there is a real danger that muggles will blindly allow their USB flash drives to auto-run and become infected by this worm…”

“The fact that this worm has been inspired by the tales of a fictional schoolboy wizard doesn’t make it a harmless prank.

“A worm like this which infects and tampers with users’ computers without their permission is committing a criminal act.

Thanks to Diane for emailing.





53 Responses to “Harry Potter” Computer Worm Infecting PCs

Avatar Image says:

wow that’s sad that someone would make that…. it’s also sad you can’t trust certain websites anymore good thing tlc was here to warn us!!! I just checked my documents and I didn’t see anything! First comment!!!!!!

Avatar Image says:

you can also see the screen captures of the effects of this worm at http://www.sophos.com/pressoffice/news/articles/2007/06/hairy.html

Avatar Image says:

well, if you’re stupid enough to open it…

Avatar Image says:

HOW DARE THEY!!!!!!!!

Avatar Image says:

Looks like that Laura Mallory found a way to afect Harry after all.

Avatar Image says:

Looks like the person(s) that created this did not like the Harry Potter series, can’t they let us live in peace and love Harry Potter and enjoy the last book and not ruin it for us. People these days (bow head in shame)

Avatar Image says:

I just saw the movie!!!!! Yesterday Myspace had a special showing for myspace fans. It only showed in about 8 theatres around the country, so I was amazed that I got a ticket. We stood in line for 7 hours, but it was worth it. Everything you have heard about this is true. It is really the best movie by far. I won’t spoil it for you all, but this one did have more script from the book than any of the others. Yes, there wasn’t some of my favorite parts in there, but the movie really got into the heart of the book. The ending of the last one really left me upset that they cut the last important chapters out. This one, while it was still too short, didn’t leave out the emotion between Harry and Sirius and Harry and Dumbledore. And Ginny looked fantastic, her role was very understated, but the fans will really appreciate the nuances between her and Harry. And the ending included everything that was important to include. (I don’t want to say to much here) I’m just so happy that I got to see it. I’m taking about 100 kids to see the midnight show and I can’t wait to see it again. POTTER ROCKS!!!

Avatar Image says:

Ugh! Well, hopefully none of the TLC fans will be stupid enough to think they can get their hands on an ‘early’ copy of DH, nor Slytherin-ish enough to try.

The wait is almost over, folks! Three weeks from midnight, and ‘pranks’ like this will have to cease. Think like Moody and maintain a CONSTANT VIGILANCE until you get your hot little hands on the book.

Avatar Image says:

it actually sounds a little funny, of course not if it happens to you though. it’s kind of your own fault if you open it though.

Avatar Image says:

Leakytent, I thought the same thing,Laura Mallory is at it again.

Avatar Image says:

Good thing they misspelled Hermione Granger’s last name…

Avatar Image says:

Do you think someone “Laura-Malory-esque” created this? The whole “going to hell” bit seems weird. Well, I guess normal people don’t sit around writing Harry Potter viruses either…

Avatar Image says:

When did the mouth-breathing fundies get smart enough to stop sleeping with their sisters and use computers?

That’s two “hackers” now who’ve apparently gone on a personal mission to warn us all of the sin that is Harry Potter.

You’d think they could get themselves worked up about something more useful, like Darfur or climate change or Paris Hilton or something.

Avatar Image says:

I am sooo furious about this! HOW DARE THEY

Avatar Image says:

It’s pathetic how people who are smart enough to create programs, use them to destroy computers. Oh well, hopefully most fans won’t fall into that trap. We’ll just have to wait the twenty-one days JK wants us to wait!

Avatar Image says:

Woh scary stuff. I wouldn’t open it though…I don’t really understand viruses.How would it get on my USB? Mines in my desk at school :s

Avatar Image says:

I was going to come in here and say “Looks like Laura Mallory has reached a new low” but it looks like others have come to the same conclusion already. :)

Avatar Image says:

It kinda sounds like one of my friends, who thinks Harry Potter is evil and will lead you to hell. It must be someone like that who created the virus, pathetically trying to express their oppinion on the series while destroying other computers while they do it. Heh. Good thing my laptop is a Windows 98 model, so I’m not affected ‘cause its so old…and Harry Potter is certainly NOT dead…the idiot…

Avatar Image says:

Yeah, I also don’t really understand the way this worm spreads… through USB, then thorugh the connected PCs? :S

Avatar Image says:

Wow. That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. What a bunch of foolish people!

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and I mean the people who made the virus! Not the people who were unfortunate enough to be attacked by it!

Avatar Image says:

We mac users just sit and laugh.

Avatar Image says:

What kind of idiot would do that? These kind of things make me wonder if some people ever mature…

Avatar Image says:

ROFL leakytent… It sounds like something Laura Mallory would say doesn’t it? Interesting though that it leads to a HP spoof…I feel really bad for that write, he/she’s going to get a lot of bad press. Though I guess any publicity is good publicity…But still

-B

Avatar Image says:

The first novel in history to inspire a computer virus!

Avatar Image says:

That’s insane. The whole “Read and repent, the end is near, repent from your evil ways O Ye folks lest you burn in hell…JK Rowling especially” part is especially mentally deficient.

Avatar Image says:

I’m just waiting for the virus that starts playing pirated versions of the movies in some obscure language on your computer so you see the next movie, but you don’t understand it—it’ll happen, trust me.

Avatar Image says:

As the saying goes, criminals are stupid… and I hope that now people are warned, they won’t be just as stupid and open it. How very rude!

Avatar Image says:

Also, this is good enough to be on that radio show ‘Wait wait, don’t tell me,’ or on “News of the Wierd.” Where did these people get this idea?

Avatar Image says:

hmmmm…the person definately had too much time on their hands. i am doubting that the person who made it is really a christian fundamentalist. rather someone that thinks they are being funny.

Avatar Image says:

I’m getting tired of everyone saying “it’s laura mallory’s fault” or someone like her. I’m a Christian just like her and even though I disagree with her, making fun of her belief is childish.

Obviously this virus was created for those who are not smart enough to know that DH wouldn’t be on a computer file BY someone who’s very very bored.

Ok, my rant is over.

Avatar Image says:

Gee, I wonder who would be low enough to create something so horiable for Harry Potter fans cough Laura Mallory cough

Avatar Image says:

people make me sick.

y cant they just let us enjoy harry potter? if they dont like it, fine. they dont need to create WORMS and destroy ppls computers! my whole LIFE is on this computer.

<3padfootrocksmysocks

Avatar Image says:

thats one way to protect from spoilers, scare the pants off any one looking, by creating a virus in a trojan house. Cool

Avatar Image says:

It seems that this virus was created by someone who has those “strong religious beliefs,” as to say that, oh, the Harry Potter books are evil. It’s just a book, for crying out loud! (This is another reason why I want Harry to live. That would be like a slap across the face for some of these “religious” folks.)

Avatar Image says:

Anita, please don’t call Laura Mallory a Christian. As a Christian, I don’t claim her. Her campaign of lies and deception is very unchristian.

Avatar Image says:

omg u have to be kidding me!!! Harry Potter and the Chamber of Cheesecake People are so deperate these days!!!

Avatar Image says:

Wow… creative little bastards, aren’t they??

Avatar Image says:

As annoying (and costly) viruses are, you have to admit, it’s kind of funny…imagine turning on your computer to find that Dobby last used your computer =]

Luckily for us, we all know not to trust any old manuscript calling itself Deathly Hallows.

Avatar Image says:

I agree with Sasha and Onmassave; It probably weren’t fundamentalists (tv’s and computers forbidden?) but very bored people, or the writers of the spoof book themselves. It sounds like a computernerd with too much time on his hands and not enough imagination to go read a book or even worse enjoy it. Pleas let’s not blame religious groups, I have seen too much trouble in the last decade for that.

Avatar Image says:

Ppl are seriously twisted! And I would like to congradulate Nidale fo the usage of this comment”

—-I’m just waiting for the virus that starts playing pirated versions of the movies in some obscure language on your computer so you see the next movie, but you don’t understand it—it’ll happen, trust me.—-

Avatar Image says:

the laura mallory jokes are getting old, guys.

Avatar Image says:

Wow. Who could do such a thing? Has anyone got it yet? I haven’t.

Avatar Image says:

Well, I’m Christian too… I disagree with her too. If people want to say that, then fine, it probably wasnt her, but no way would anyone’s Christian beliefs bring them to her “crusade” of sorts that she has brought.

Yeah…I’m with you there, MissHagrid.

Avatar Image says:
  1. I’m getting tired of everyone saying “it’s laura mallory’s fault” or someone like her. I’m a Christian just like her and even though I disagree with her, making fun of her belief is childish. ##

That’s complete nonsense. Making fun of and thinking critically about ideas and beliefs is the very bedrock of intellectual development.

No belief system should be held above criticism or mockery. Especially not religious beliefs, given the incredible impact they have on the behaviours of nations and individuals.

Frankly, I have nothing but contempt for people like Laura Mallory’s brand of Christianity. It is soulless, uptight and has nothing to do with quiet personal reflection. It’s about justifying one’s prejudices and personality disorders.

I say mock away. Not only is it healthy, it’s important. And, what’s more, she richly deserves it.

Avatar Image says:

OMG, this is sooo scary!! How does it even start?? Like, how do you get it on your flash drive??

Avatar Image says:

It’s horrible to get a worm, but I do have to say this though:

The worm sounds worthy of Fred and George.

Avatar Image says:

Ok, guys… I do agree that her way of trying to get rid of HP is not right and I feel the same way about this person who created the virus. It IS judgemental and wrong. But we have also NO right to call someone Christian or not just like she doesn’t have a right to tell us what the people in Georgia should read or not read. sighs And when I said ‘I’m a Christian just like her’ I meant by saying that we share some of the same beliefs as Christians ( totally unrelated to Harry Potter).

But really, the Laura Mallory joke is getting old.

Avatar Image says:

I take 5 things seriously: -Harry Potter -Computers -Writing -Bowling -Reading

How dare they? Dursley-ish muggles…

Avatar Image says:

What do you want to bet that the idiot who did this doesn’t feel one way or the other about HP and isn’t the slightest bit religious? This was probably just someone who’s heard about Laura Mallory and would like us all to think it’s her. Well, she’s kinda been asking for this sort of thing, but I seriously doubt it’s her or anyone like her. Oh, but to whoever wrote that fundamentalists are probably forbidden to watch tv or own a computer…you’re wrong. Laura Mallory has her own website. Anyway, I can’t stand loser idiots, like the moron who created this virus, who want to take their knowledge of computer programming and use it in such an annoying and downright malicious way. I hope the fool or fools responsible get what they deserve. How dare they use HP in this way?

I also don’t understand why this other person who claims to have hacked into the publisher’s computer and downloaded “Deathly Hallows” could even be in the position to be able to lie about this. Do publishers put books on their own computers? They should copy them from the writers’ discs onto their own disc just long enought to get the publishing done. Maybe that’s how it’s done and this fool who claims to have a copy doesn’t know that. I don’t know. I have no idea how publishing works but no one’s work should be on any company’s computer.

Avatar Image says:

I completely agree, iamminerva.

Avatar Image says:

well, looks like IM GOING TO HELL!!! ... but… not so bad if jk will be there… ;)

Avatar ImageWON_TWO says: Reducto worm!!!

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