informa
/
Vulnerabilities/Threats
News

Harry Potter Gathers Fans and Worms

Sophos is cautioning Internet users of the computer worm that exploits Potter-mania, which first appeared in late June

BOSTON -- With the upcoming release of the last ever Harry Potter novel and today’s launch of the latest movie, IT security and control firm Sophos is cautioning internet users of the computer worm that exploits Potter-mania, which first appeared in late June.

The Hairy-A worm can automatically infect a PC when users plug-in USB drives, which carries a file posing as a copy of the eagerly anticipated novel, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows". If the users have allowed USB drives to 'auto-run' they will see a file called 'HarryPotter-TheDeathlyHallows.doc' - inside this Word document file is the simple phrase "Harry Potter is dead." The worm then looks for other removable drives to infect.

“We’re not out of the woods yet with regard to the possible damage that can be inflicted by the Hairy-A worm,” said Ron O’Brien, senior security analyst at Boston-based Sophos and the industry expert who brought attention to this threat a few weeks ago. “Cybercriminals have been known to re-issue or create other similar threats based on pop-culture activity. And, with the movie release today, there’s more than ample opportunity.”

Sophos plc

Recommended Reading:
Editors' Choice
Kirsten Powell, Senior Manager for Security & Risk Management at Adobe
Joshua Goldfarb, Director of Product Management at F5