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Post  Admin on Wed Jul 22, 2009 3:04 pm

This is an article I got from mtvasia.com
Its written by Larry Carroll (MTV.com)

*Here it is:
The latest Harry Potter instalment is already breaking box-office records, But a very different danger is plaguing Potter fans in cyberspace - hackers are using the blockbuster to cast a spell on computers worldwide.

"It's definitely the most targeted film that we've seen," explained Michael Greene, VP of Product Strategy at PC Tools, whose virus fighters have been hard at work battling Harry Potter hackers over the last few weeks. "This is pretty scary stuff."

Knowing that millions of people are searching the web for information on Harry Potter, cybercriminals are using search optimization tactics to target popular sites like Digg.com with headlines such as "Watch Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince online free!" and comment posts filled with related keywords to attract Google. Seeing professional-looking images from the film, Potter fans believe that the movie is one click away - but as they keep clicking, a virus is being installed on their computers.

"A couple of weeks ago I started to notice it; there was a Digg post about viewing the new Harry Potter movie in advance," Greene explained. "It tells you to download a video player - which is actually pretty common - if you watch a Flash movie or don't have the right software. But in this case, you're not getting a Flash plug-in or anything like that - what you're getting is the malware of the day."

"At that point, your computer has been infected," he added. "And even worse, you don't get to see the Harry Potter movie."

The Potter virus has been categorized as crimeware, which searches your computer for credit card or bank information, Greene said. "[The hackers] will collect credit card details, social security numbers. Then they'll turn around and sell that to another group, a 'carding operation' they call it, and these guys will buy blank credit cards from a third group; they'll put them together, print out the credit cards and then sell physical credit cards with your numbers on the street."

"As long as there is money to be made, havoc to be created, there will be Voldemorts out there," Greene joked, comparing the hackers to the boy wizard's evil nemesis. "To keep Hogwarts running, we have to train the magicians to keep themselves safe."


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