Thousands of new reports of Netsky-P: ‘Potter-mania’ Tempting Users Into Infection

Virus experts at Sophos are warning computer users that the Netsky-P worm is still posing a significant threat, despite being first protected against in March. Sophos is reporting that thousands of copies of Netsky-P have been spotted in the last few days.

The worm owes some of its continued ‘success’ to its ability to disguise itself as a Harry Potter computer game when spreading on file-sharing systems. With the first screening of ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’, Potter fans – eager to play the latest games – seem to be dropping their guard. “Echoing a technique used in 2000 by the Pikachu worm, Netsky-P targets young computer users by sometimes posing as content connected with the Harry Potter books and movie franchise,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. “Parents need to educate their children against the threats of viruses, to ensure the popularity of Potter doesn’t cast a nasty spell on their computer systems.”

The Netsky-P worm spreads via email and internet file-sharing systems, and was the second most commonly reported virus to Sophos last month after the infamous Sasser internet worm. Unlike Sasser, which infects computers without any user interaction, the Netsky-P worm has to tempt PC users into launching an infected file.

“No-one should underestimate the Netsky-P worm. Since it was first spotted on March 22 it has cast a long shadow over the charts of most commonly encountered viruses, only being pushed off the top spot by the Sasser worm last month. It’s not just email users who should be on their guard. Users of file-sharing systems who download content should equally be cautious that what they are downloading does not contain an unpleasant surprise,” continued Cluley.

Further details about Netsky-P can be found at:

Don't miss