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PC Tools – Bogus Harry Potter Movie Plants Malware on Computers

As per the new research done by security vendor PC Tools, cyber criminals are using upcoming Harry Potter film "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" to spread malware, as reported by v3 on June 27, 2009.

The security firm has stated that hackers are increasingly using the tactic called 'black hat' Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to infect users who are curiously waiting to download Harry Potter's new film before it is shown in theaters.

To make their efforts successful, criminals are trying to make users clicks on optimized links that take them to malicious sites hosted on blogosphere. These links come with text that meant to create interest in users - such as "Watch Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince online free."

When Harry Potter fans click on one of these malicious but luring links, they are deceived into a downloading "streamviewer" to watch the movie. However, the streamviewer is a piece of malware that secretly steals fans' personal information such as bank account numbers and passwords.

PC Tools further states that the stolen information is gathered by hackers who work for organized crime networks that sell the information. For instance - the information is reproduced on blank cards which will be sold on the Web. Hacked information could be used to develop more scams.

Michael Greene, Vice President of Product Strategy, PC Tools, said that Harry Potters' fans who wanted to download the film before it hits theatre increased the possibilities of clicking on these links. Hence, there is every likelihood of contacting infection to their computers, as reported by news.sky on June 26, 2009.

Greene further added that targeting major event became very common for cyber criminals. malware writers need audience to spread worm.

According to security experts, online security agencies are striving hard to suppress cyber crime and the biggest challenge before them is fast changing nature of crime. New programs are developed every day to evade antivirus applications, a tough task to update security software.

Cyber criminals' attempt to hit Potter friends isn't a new thing. In 2007, when the last book of Potter series was released in July, cyber criminals distributed a large number of malicious codes on the Internet.

Related article: PC-Virus of 2005 Threatening Japanese Bank Accountholders, Warns Symantec

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