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LONDON, June 20 2007 – Has Harry Potter been hacked? If you believe the messages posted on the Full Disclosure email list at InSecure.org that’s exactly what happened. A hacker now claims to have a copy of the new “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” transcript.

According to the post, the hacker “Gabriel” claimed to have exploited the PCs of one or more employees at Bloomsbury Publishing, the publisher of the Harry Potter books, by sending an email-borne threat. Once the user activated the threat, by opening the email, the hacker professes to have been able to snag himself a draft copy of the highly anticipated book.

Is it true? Only two groups really know the answer to that question: the hacker and the publisher. Is it possible? Certainly.

“Companies are being targeted everyday,” said Simon Clausen, CEO of PC Tools. “Corporate and personal espionage have been taken to a whole new level due to the easy accessibility of the building blocks to create threats. Previously only an experienced hacker would be able to produce custom threats, but these days any technically savvy individual or even ‘script-kiddies’ can plug the pieces together like Lego and easily make their own.”

The goal of the post is apparently to gain some notoriety for the self-proclaimed hacker, and also to spoil the ending for the public. In particular the posted message claims to expose the names and ways in which two of the characters die, something that has been the subject of much speculation since it was revealed by the author J.K.Rowling.

“Hackers are regularly using popular events or a newsworthy item to entice users, with what is usually a piece of fiction. This is another timely reminder to consumers and businesses of the dangers online and why they need to implement protection,” said Clausen.

PC Tools recommends everyone check their PC is secure with the latest anti-spyware and anti-virus technologies - better safe than sorry.

For those that want to read the hacker’s version of the story the full post is available at: http://seclists.org/fulldisclosure/2007/Jun/0380.html

ABOUT PC TOOLS TM

PC Tools is a global software leader with a cache of security and utility products, including the multi award-winning Spyware DoctorTM. PC Tools is an industry leader in real-time anti-spyware and has a number of key patents pending.

The PC Tools Malware Research Centre monitors trends and emerging spyware issues and provides security solutions for the consumer and enterprise marketplace. The company is headquartered in Sydney, with offices in San Francisco, London, Shannon (Ireland), Melbourne, Kiev and now Boulder, Colorado. PC Tools has a global network of distributors, resellers, and retailers.

CONTACT:

Marc Ambasna-Jones
Monument PR
Tel: 0845 355 1178
Email:marc@monumentpr.com

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