Hacker attacks music file sharers

Brief: File sharers are the target of a virus that deletes music collections
Written by Dan Ilett, Contributor

A hacker has created a virus that targets music lovers by deleting MP3 files on infected computers.

The worm, dubbed Nopir.B, spreads over peer-to-peer file-sharing networks and originated in France, according to security researchers at antivirus company Sophos on Friday.

Nopir.B is designed to look like a DVD-cracking program, to fool people looking for a program that will circumvent copy-restriction technology on DVDs. When the worm is downloaded and run, it attempts to delete all MP3 music files and wipe some programs from the infected PC.

Sophos said it believes the author of the virus may be looking to stamp out music piracy.

"The Nopir.B worm targets people it believes may be involved in piracy, but fails to discriminate between the true criminals and those who may have legally obtained MP3 files," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "Whichever side of the fence you come down on in regards to Internet piracy, there's no debate about the criminal nature of this worm — it's designed to inflict malicious damage on people's Windows computers."

Sophos has received few reports of the worm, but recommended that people update their security software.

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