Security Bytes

Jun 21 2007   9:34AM GMT

Harry Potter and the Hokey Hacker

David Schneier David Schneier Profile: David Schneier

We’ve seen zero days in Windows, Mac OS X, various Linux distributions and even BlackBerrys. Now comes the first zero day in a book. (Actually, it’s more like grand larceny, but that doesn’t sound as scary.) A post on the Full Disclosure mailing list Tuesday revealed what the author claims are the key details of the plot of the final book in the Harry Potter series. The book isn’t due on shelves until July 21, but the post’s author, who signed his post as Gabriel, claims to have stolen a copy of the manuscript by sending a malicious email to employees of Bloomsbury Publishing, the book’s publisher. Gabriel’s English isn’t so good, and he seems to fancy himself a latter-day crusader, keeping our youth safe from the scourge of mediocre science fiction:

Yes, we did it.
We did it by following the precious words of the great Pope Benedict XVI when he still was Cardinal Josepth Ratzinger.
He explained why Harry Potter bring the youngs of our earth to Neo Paganism faith.
So we make this spoiler to make reading of the upcoming book useless and boring.
The attack strategy was the easiest one.
The usual milw0rm downloaded exploit delivered by email/click-on-the-link/open-browser/click-on-this-animated-icon/back-connect to some employee of Bloomsbury Publishing, the company that’s behind the Harry crap.
It’s amazing to see how much people inside the company have copies and drafts of this book.
Curiosity killed the cat.

Who kill curiosity?

Interpol may kill curiosity, Gabriel, that’s who. But then again he may have just made all of this up to kill some time on a summer afternoon. If so, it’s still a good opportunity to remind your users not to open all of those cute little emails they get from folks in the Ukraine or Brazil offering them cheap V1@gr@.

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3  Comments on this Post

 
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  • Laura
    If this true this sucks! Unfortunately, it's probably true. Most people hoped/thought that the Dumbledore Death Spoiler was a hoax, and it wasn't. These guys love spoiling the deaths!
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  • Ev
    Is it such a spoiler? After all, the process of the story is at least as much fun as the outcome. If this Gabriel critter is for real, I hope what he has done will increase interest in the HP books!
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  • C.J.
    This is fake!!!!mALFOY Makes a profit and a fight that goes 6 pages yeah right I can understand a 3 page duel but 6!!!!
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