A computer virus has claimed that 'Harry Potter is dead'.
Hackers have disguised the PC worm as a file called 'HarryPotter-TheDeathlyHallows.doc', the title of JK Rowling's up-coming book, out on July 21.
The virus - known as Hairy-A - works by infecting USB memory drives plugged into computers where users have unwittingly downloaded the worm. This allows it to hop between different computers each time the device is inserted.
Its other effects are creating a host of new users on the PC using character names from the books like Harry, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. It also changes the computer's internet homepage to a spoof of book-seller Amazon.com displaying a novel called Harry Putter and the Chamber of Cheesecakes.
According to virus busters Sophos, eager fans desperate to find out the ending to the seven-book series are helping to feed the worm's spread.
"A worm like this, which infects and tampers with users' computers without their permission, is committing a criminal act," Graham Cluley, of Sophos, was quoted by The Sun, as saying.