Watch Out, it’s Harry Potter Movie Malware

Unsuspecting youth, and those willing to watch illegal copies of the movie Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on the web for free are falling victim to “a rotating selection of choice malware, including the koobface worm” according to a new alert by PC tools through their Threatfire blog.


“This is headline malware,” said Mike Greene, vice president of product strategy at PC Tools. “Whenever you see a headline, you can be pretty confident you will find some hot malware.”

Using sites like Google’s Blogspot,, and spam e-mail, criminals place enticing offers for viewing the movie and provide links to fake film websites. They are also flooding the comments sections on sites with Harry Potter keywords to get search engines to display the malicious sites in their search results.

Particularly confusing for less sophisticated users, the tools that indicate whether search engine results are safe or not indicate these sites are safe (In the example shown here, it is McAfee’s Site Advisor displaying their signature approval symbol). This is because the websites – Digg, watch-movies, livevideo, etc. – are safe. The malware is downloaded when the user clicks on a malicious link placed on these sites.

If you have kids old enough to want to watch this movie (or other popular movies) it’s time for a conversation to teach two key concepts:

  1. Copyrighted content is protected. Watching or downloading pirated copies of movies, music, or other protected content is illegal.
  2. Criminals use hot headline news and events to lure victims – whether it’s Michael Jackson, mortgage rate cuts, or highly anticipated movies.

If you are of an age where you know that watching a video copy of a movie is illegal, then getting a hefty dose of malware is your just reward.



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