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November 19, 2009

Computer viruses leech off 'Twilight' sequel

Posted: 11:13 AM ET

The new "Twilight" vampire movie, due out Friday, is already sinking its teeth into the Web audience.

But searchers beware. Some online downloads for "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" and video interviews with cast members may not be what they seem. They could carry computer viruses.

This news comes from a computer security company, PC Tools, which says in a news release that a handful of search terms and links should make fans and would-be movie pirates suspicious. Among the phrases to watch out for: "Watch New Moon Full Movie," "streamviewer," and "Stephenie Meyer at"

Yahoo explains further: doesn't actually host interviews (it's a desktop background and screensaver website), and the link in question doesn't actually go there either. Instead, users are directed to a malicious website that takes that age-old scareware path: A pop-up alerts users that they are infected with some sort of malware, and then directs them to a download site so they can get a phony antivirus software product to remedy the issue.

365Multimedia could not be reached immediately for comment. Visitors to the site aren't at risk of getting their machines infected.

Scammers have been preying in recent years on the online popularity of news events and pop culture. When a topic like "Twilight" gets hot online, virus engineers use popular search terms to get more clicks and thus infect more machines.

Of course, you also could take the "Twilight" virus idea figuratively.

As one of the film's actors, Robert Pattinson, told The Boston Globe, "I don't know how, it [the "Twilight" series]  just explodes so quickly. It takes seven months to take hold – it's like a virus."

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Filed under: pop culture • Security • virus

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Mary   November 19th, 2009 12:52 pm ET

Malicious hackers will always take the latest craze and exploit it. The remedy is to develop your own interests and not to be taken in by the feeding frenzy that seems to fuel the latest fad. Be an individual, not just one of the herd.

Mike   November 19th, 2009 2:21 pm ET

I'm not a Twilight fan, but it is possible to like something because you like it, and it just happens to be popular.

Jesse   November 19th, 2009 2:22 pm ET

This article is a good explanation of why hoopleheads are more likely to get a virus on their computer. The more crap you download (crap being especially appropriate since Twilight is the topic) the more likely you'll get a virus. It's akin to Pvt. Pyle leaving his footlocker unlocked in "Full Metal Jacket": stupid people are easier to harm/rob/murder/infect with a virus.

I used to work at a local computer shop and cleaned hundreds of computers that were virus and spyware-ridden. Nine times out of ten the owner was a mouth breather. Also nine times out of ten the PC was a junk E-Machine purchased from Wal-Mart that had soda spilled on it and/or foreign objects inserted inside by the mouth breathing owner's mouth breathing kids. Not only should these people be prevented from owning computers, they should also be discouraged from breeding.

SusieQ   November 19th, 2009 2:38 pm ET

There's nothing wrong with being interested in and enjoying a certain craze. I am very much an independent individual, but sometimes I like something that is new and popular, too. To say I am to blame when someone takes advantage of me is exceptionally twisted reasoning. Let's put the blame where it belongs–on the rip-off artists and sociopaths who are always looking for a way to cause problems and mess with people. Having said that, the real answers are to make sure your computer is fully protected with computer security software and to educate yourself about the basics of Internet safety.

Bob   November 19th, 2009 3:44 pm ET

If you are going to going to view the movie without paying for it you get what you deserve.

Jesse   November 19th, 2009 4:44 pm ET

It's not twisted reasoning, it's cause and effect. Wicked people have existed since our primate ancestors learned that stealing the village idiot's food was easier than hunting for your own. My point is that you will never rid the world of people who are looking to screw over other people. You can, however, reduce the damage they can cause by educating yourself, and, in the case of poor quality entertainment, refining your taste.

I'm not making excuses for scammers. Just saying that it's human nature...nay...the nature of the animal kingdom in general to prey on the weak. The cheetah targets the lame gazelle because it's easier to catch–same concept goes for scammers and idiots. Instead of blaming the scammer for taking advantage of me, I would blame myself for failing to be more careful. Self improvement never occurs if you always blame others for your own shortcomings.

doofus   November 19th, 2009 5:08 pm ET

"be an individual and not one of the herd." what a silly thing to say. what if my individual tastes like the stuff and everyone else does too? just because a lot of people like something, it doesn't make any one of them herd followers. malware is malware. it's more like "surf the net safely" than "don't follow the herd" /rollseyes

Ed   November 19th, 2009 6:22 pm ET


That won't prevent viruses, at least no more than cutting off your legs prevents athlete's foot. Educating yourself about computers and being able to recognize BS links, as well as having the good sense to realize when something is too good to be true (no, really, you are our million dollar winner. Please download this executable to claim your prize), is the real remedy.

cAROL   November 19th, 2009 10:11 pm ET

JESSE– You sound like a very bitter person. Having a bad day? Or, maybe time for a career change?

Bliss   November 19th, 2009 10:45 pm ET

How is liking something that is popular following the herd? The fact that something is popular doesn't mean you are following a herd, it means it's popular. If breathing is popular does it mean I'm following a herd, or does it mean that I like breathing, along with many other people. Also making fun of people that don't know computers as good as you is very pretentious.. perhaps the mouth breather needs a mirror to realize they are no better than people who get infected with spyware.

These virus writers are targeting a "criminal" audience. They are relatively safe in targeting the audience seeking full movie downloads because the mentality is more often than not "these people get what they deserve for trying to steal movies".

If you're not good with computers, get a good Antivirus like KAV and scrutinize any downloads. Also view the comments people leave about these downloads, and always use a trusted source/website. I personally do not run any kind of spyware/antivirus and have not had any issues. Simply playing it smart when downloading is usually enough to protect against a lot of threats.

adam   November 19th, 2009 11:19 pm ET

i don't get why this is news. this is true for ANY popular item....any song, any movie, any type of media that you would think of searching for/downloading. it's been like that since the beginning of the internet.

helpontheway   November 19th, 2009 11:45 pm ET

You forgot to mention – this is only a problem for Windows users. Talk about falling into a silly fad.

Pinkymcfatfat   November 20th, 2009 12:37 am ET

This is possibly even more proof that Anon is Legion.

Bill   November 20th, 2009 10:20 am ET

Most people cheer when the store owner shoots the creep that's trying to rob him, I'm one of them. Why would someone getting a virus while trying to steal a movie expect me to feel any different about them? I'm not saying that it's right, but it certainly should be an anticipated side effect of the illegal behavior.

Bacallsmom   November 20th, 2009 10:33 am ET

It really is funny the way the self-proclaimed fault-free geniuses will dump on other people when commenting about something like this. Guess it gives them an outlet for their misogny. I like to think most people are capable of actions that rise above animal instincts, and "human nature" is no excuse for scummy behavior. It is important to educate yourself about Internet safety and run security software, but I don't really blame the 86-year-old grandparent who gets caught by a scamster or the 12-year-old who unknowingly downloads a virus. It can happen to the best of us. There are websites that show up in perfectly legitimate search engines that push pestware infections onto the computers of unsuspecting visitors. I suspect anyone who calls people "village idiots" has a lot in common with the people who perpetrate computer frauds–a total lack of respect for other people.

Jesco   November 20th, 2009 12:48 pm ET

Jesse cracks me up!!!! Oh and he's right.....

Marilyn   November 20th, 2009 2:08 pm ET

Mary, I think I love you.

Super Sarah   November 20th, 2009 2:39 pm ET

you people are all obsessed.

mistersunnyday   November 20th, 2009 3:09 pm ET

Let's see.

Computer geek who USED to work for a computer store (until his superior customer service skills and general attitude toward the public at large finally cost him his job) thinks everyone who doesn't know as much as he does about personal computers is an idiot.

Jesse, having been around before there were computers, and having worked with them for a number of years, I have learned that we are ALL ignorant, just about different things. So that person who is PC challenged may know a lot about things you never dreamed about.

Try to keep an open mind towards people, give them a chance, they may surprise you.

JAMES   November 20th, 2009 3:37 pm ET

jesse, I also find you very humurous and agree completely with you.

Mike   November 20th, 2009 4:44 pm ET

His obvious animosity towards Twilight aside, Jesse's right. If you don't blame yourself for your mistakes, you'll never learn from them. There's been plenty of times where I wind up with some junk on my computer from going to some unknown site or downloading a malicious file, but I'm also savvy enough to spot the symptoms of doing so and take care of it. I'm also smart enough to know not to do it again. It's true, predators prey on the weak, and if you fall victim to that, it should be a wake up call that you need to sharpen your senses and maybe educate yourself a little bit (but of course no one wants to be told this). Perfect example, I was on CNN at my uncles house and he yelled at me and told me they'd sell the information off his hard drive and start putting porn pop-ups on there. Not only is this an outright lie fueled by paranoia but it's incredibly ignorant, and yet there are a lot of people with this mindset.

geoff   November 20th, 2009 5:11 pm ET

I like Hackers, the freethinking oddballs who pull great pranks; I just wish that their programs did not corrupt poor people’s computers. I mean, don’t get me wrong, stealing personal information is a bad deal, but most of the truly great hackers out there just seem bored, and have too much intelligence and far too much time on their hands. I wonder how much of what we currently know as hacking is not in-fact being perpetrated upon us by foreign governments "CHINA, anyone" in an attempt to conduct cyber spying. Remember, nerds who program for NASA, CIA, and NSA, are into stuff like aliens and vampires. These are the kids who stayed up all night and played D&D in their grandmother’s basement. What better people’s computers to infect? Just a thought!

Seidl   November 20th, 2009 5:23 pm ET

Hooray for the developers of that particular virus. Twilight is a semiotic plague that should be wiped out. People who enjoy it are philistines.

Traveler   November 20th, 2009 9:04 pm ET

Damn Jesse .... maybe rageaholics could help?

Jesse Rocks!   November 20th, 2009 10:59 pm ET

Jeese – thanks for saying what so many of are thinking but are too polite to say.

How many "friends" of mine end up with viruses, worms, spyware, etc. because they have no idea how a computer works or the difference between an .exe file and a data file?

And they drive their cars the same way. Press the "go" pedal to go, press the "stop" pedal to stop. Swing the door wide open and slam it into the car next to you. Change the oil? Heck they don't even wash the car.

Mouth breathers. Yes, indeedy. And they are about 80-90% of the population. The sort of folks who think Fox News is intellectual stuff.

Mary – you are a rare bird. Developing your own interests and not following the herd is the right idea. A good start is to dump television entirely.

I haven't watched Teevee in a decade now. What, by the way, is "Twilight" anyway? Am I missing something? Didn't think so....

steve   November 20th, 2009 11:09 pm ET

Topic aside, it seems to me that the vast majority of people (including anyone who posted a comment) are just as nuts in both the real and virtual worlds....Don't you people have anything better to do..???.. Do I?? There are drugs in the food we eat and viruses all over the place. Maybe computers and the internet is just a fad too. History tells us that it'll all have to go away at some point. Go Pats!!

HetNet   November 21st, 2009 11:20 am ET

Any time any "You may be INFECTED!" prompt pops up, immediately hit CNTRL-ALT-DELETE, open Task Manager, and close all running pages and browsers....That shuts them off...
If you just start clicking stuff on the screen when the warning pops up, you will find that they usually refuse to close or just start downloading whatever malware the page is attempting to pass on to you.
But, it goes without saying, alway have updated anti-virus and malware protection running...Very good ones such as AVG and Windows Defender are free and there's no excuse not to be using them.

Ed   November 21st, 2009 12:00 pm ET


Believe you mean misanthropy.

William Spendlove   November 21st, 2009 1:25 pm ET

Wow this is a really interesting news article.. too bad it's nothing new and I don't believe it started with the "twilight" movies. LOL I would have to say though, a virus is probably a sight more interesting than the actual movie itself so such is life.

watssup   November 21st, 2009 8:32 pm ET

Hey Marilyn... Gross!

Joseph W W Phillips   November 22nd, 2009 4:33 am ET

Boy did you all miss the point. Jesse is writing a lot of stuff that makes no sense because he thinks it makes him sound intelligent, which it doesnt. Saying that a set of movies like the Twilight saga is pointless, not because of the following in and of itself only because obviously the book grabbed the audience not the cute actors in the movie, the story is good, i dont even follow it but i can see that. And all you others so far are making arguments based from nothing saying its his right or her right to have an opinion about the subject, while at the same time its anyones right to debunk the premise. The point of this article was to warn individuals that maybe something getting as much attention world wide as twilight may not be a good idea to pirate or to do any fruitless searches about who starred in it or some nobodies opinion about how well they acted in the film or why the charachter playing the main "hottie" is so "hot" if you read the books which i hear were very well written and put together you know the ending and should be in it for the literature and seeing a great story put into modern art, not because you give a care of the actor playing Edward, and if you did not read the books, you have no basis for opinion on the film adaptation at all. This article isnt here for an argument if the story is good or bad anyways it is a warning letting individuals know that malicious intent is being targeted at fans or anyone looking for any type of information concerning this production. You all fail for digging too deep into this. Good night.

Bob   November 22nd, 2009 11:56 am ET

I think the viruses should leach the price of a movie ticket for each viewing.

Timmits   November 22nd, 2009 1:20 pm ET

Get Twilight for free as of now. They are right on the risks on the net... Gooday

Conic   November 22nd, 2009 8:40 pm ET

@Bob "If you are going to going to view the movie without paying for it you get what you deserve."

I completely agree with your statement. Unfortunately, these are the same people that bring a virus in that will spread across a network to infect bunches of other computers in a company!

This makes it very difficult for IT workers and costs companies lots of money in lost IT time to eradicate the virii.

Adawg   November 23rd, 2009 8:04 pm ET

Twilight? SERIOSLY? I think Twilight is just a bunch of crap.

Real Babies Daddy   November 27th, 2009 7:50 pm ET

So let me get this straight. If you use a EMachine n in the twilight you are subject to get a viral infection? I will have to let my Ex know next time I go over to see my younguns at the trailer park. Darn what am I gonna do since that guy left the computer store an ain't there no more.

BRENDA   November 29th, 2009 6:36 am ET

I am glad this was mentioned. Hackers usually follow the news, for example Oprah (wildly popular) announced her favorite pants about 2 weeks ago. (Linda, by Ellen Tracy) if you google those pants, half the websites are infected, (my antivirus went crazy) I guess this means we have to be careful of hot trends. Maybe "unfashionable" is safe.

jazz   November 30th, 2009 7:10 pm ET


At worst, point them to and the two open dns servers. is faster, but any of these three instead of your ISPs can better guarantee you are going where you are supposed to. COX's DNS servers, for one, as of last week are ACTIVELY being hacked.

DOUBLE check that your HTT* addresses are going where they say they are.

Zoe Murphy   June 22nd, 2010 3:01 am ET

any good site where i can download movies?.."

Logan Baker   July 27th, 2010 1:34 am ET

i just get my movie downloads from either emule of bitlord, i have tons of downloaded movies already.-*;

Flannel Sheets    October 13th, 2010 5:44 am ET

i like to download movies from the internet, i am addicted to both hollywood and bollywood films;,-

Body Detoxification :   October 24th, 2010 4:36 pm ET

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Decking Kits   December 20th, 2010 3:01 pm ET

there are many movie download sites on the internet and i need a bigger hard drive to save thoes movies ;,:

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