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Spoiling Harry Potter
June 21, 2007 3:55 PM   Subscribe

Spoiling Harry Potter: Hacker claims to have spoiled the last Harry Potter book with a technique called spear phishing. "We make this spoiler to make reading of the upcoming book useless and boring ... It's amazing to see how much people inside the company have copies and drafts of this book." Let's see if we can discuss spoilers and spear phishing without actually spoiling anything here. Warning: The Wired link is safe, but it contains a link to the purported spoiler.
posted by Cool Papa Bell (82 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
VOLTRON KILLS JAZZ
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:59 PM on June 21, 2007 [2 favorites]


It was all a dream.
posted by MikeKD at 4:00 PM on June 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


Lambonaise Tonight?
posted by Venadium at 4:01 PM on June 21, 2007


Assholes > Artists
posted by Smedleyman at 4:02 PM on June 21, 2007


The best part of all this is that the hacker is apparently quite batshit insane.

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.


God bless our nazi pope. Anyway, if this is actually true (doubtful), a Scholastic rep turned it around rather comically:

"Anyone can post anything on the internet and you can't always believe what you read," Kyle Good said. "The only way to know for sure is to read the book on July 21."
posted by mek at 4:07 PM on June 21, 2007


HA HA U WER XCITED BOUT SOMETIN BUT I REX IT

damn i am cool now i will spend 79 hours trying passwords until i can unlock the plot secrets for the next batman
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:09 PM on June 21, 2007


Spear phishing used to be called 'social engineering' - pretending to be someone you're not, or misrepresenting your real level of authorisation has been used to get into computer networks for a long time. As always, the weakest part of any security system is the mobile bags of water using it.

That all said, there's absolutely no evidence that this guy actually did what he said he did; as I understand it, he's published no part of the actual book, just the spoiler give-aways (which I have no intention of reading, thanks). When it comes to Harry Potter, people making shit up in advance of publication and pretending it's shinola isn't exactly rare.
posted by ArkhanJG at 4:11 PM on June 21, 2007


Threadless is going to have to update their spoilers tshirt. [warning: spoilers]
posted by mullingitover at 4:11 PM on June 21, 2007


Wow.

The post, minus spoilers, in full:

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?



To protect you and your families


God bless you


Gabriel


Free spot - Fight terrorism: http://www.challenging-islam.org/articles/warraq-debate-muslims.htm


So, you know, obviously not one of those clever sophisticated socialk engineering attacks that involve smooth-talking your way in using good English skills.
posted by Artw at 4:13 PM on June 21, 2007


I read the spoiler. I really doubt this is legitimate. The description was written at a sub-literate level and the plot that was described seems implausible. Probably just some kids hatching an inordinately successful scheme to get attention.
posted by zixyer at 4:14 PM on June 21, 2007


It strikes me that the people who wrote the post containing the purported spoiler wouldn't be able to compose the kind of emails needed to implement the "spear phishing" attack.

I think this is a hoax.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 4:16 PM on June 21, 2007


The best way to deal with this is for hundreds of other people to post Harry Potter spoilers of their own invention across the web. Take that, Reuters.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:20 PM on June 21, 2007


Viral marketing. Duh.
posted by Methylviolet at 4:20 PM on June 21, 2007


"Pssst — she's a man, baby!"
posted by rob511 at 4:23 PM on June 21, 2007


rosebud was the name of his owl
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:24 PM on June 21, 2007 [7 favorites]


Or someone trying to change the odds given on various scenarios by online betting sites.
posted by atrazine at 4:26 PM on June 21, 2007


--SPOILER ALERT--

By the end of the book it is revealed that Lord Voldemort is Harry's father, and Hermione is his sister.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 4:30 PM on June 21, 2007 [17 favorites]


Turns out Snape likes to smoke his (declawed) cat out. BFD.
posted by everichon at 4:31 PM on June 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


Or vice versa.
posted by cortex at 4:31 PM on June 21, 2007


Why do people who pose as hackers (and I'm not convinced this page is remotely legitimate) view grammar as a luxury of intelligence, and not a byproduct?

"He explained why Harry Potter bring the youngs of our earth to Neo Paganism faith." Would that be the Neil Youngs of ground dirt? Perhaps the Karl Youngs?

"It's amazing to see how much people inside the company have copies and drafts of this book." How is it amazing that employees of companies which make books might have books?

This is either a blatant hoax, or writ by genetic material edd up wit dah stoopidz.
posted by ZachsMind at 4:34 PM on June 21, 2007


I believe these guys about as much as The Decider, but who knows. Maybe Vernon Dursley really IS Voldemort...
posted by pupdog at 4:35 PM on June 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


Now that would be cool!
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 4:36 PM on June 21, 2007


Am I the only person in the world that hasn't read any of the Harry Potter books (or seen the movies)?
posted by Eekacat at 4:37 PM on June 21, 2007


Am I the only person in the world that hasn't read any of the Harry Potter books (or seen the movies)?

Silly! There are dozens of such people.
posted by everichon at 4:40 PM on June 21, 2007 [5 favorites]


If it actually happens, someone owes me a beer at least...
posted by pupdog at 4:40 PM on June 21, 2007


Might not be native English speakers, Zachsmind.

They speak English a lot better than I speak French. :)
posted by Malor at 4:43 PM on June 21, 2007


Yeah, but both of you are shit at Swahili.

UNLIKE HARRY AT THE END OF BOOK SEVEN

DUHN DUHN DUHHNNNNNNNN
posted by cortex at 4:46 PM on June 21, 2007 [2 favorites]


cortex: Did you just say DUHN DUHN DUHHNNNNNNNN?
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:57 PM on June 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


Silly hacker. This is how Harry Potter really ends.
posted by Iridic at 5:01 PM on June 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


Am I the only person in the world that hasn't read any of the Harry Potter books (or seen the movies)?
posted by Eekacat at 7:37 PM on June 21 [+] [!]


Yeah, I've neither read nor seen any of it.

Further, I don't give a shit about Star Wars, the word "geek" is overused to the point of a trifling badge, and if you haven't read This Side of Paradise, shut the fuck up. Unless you're hot, female, and possibly asian. Then, tell me all about it!
posted by four panels at 5:04 PM on June 21, 2007


How is it amazing that employees of companies which make books might have books?

I think ... and it's hard to climb inside the mind of a teenage hacker ... the amount of memory devoted to porn is astonishing ... I think the point he was making was that everyone had a copy of the book, that there was little internal security with regard to passing around electronic copies.

Compare and contrast -- When I worked on a movie-based video game, there was only one paper copy of the final shooting script of the film (big name, you've all seen it), kept under lock and key. There was no electronic copy available, because of the ease with which it could be copied and passed around. And it leaked anyway. So, Harry Potter is a much larger franchise, and security is lax.

Unless it's a hoax.

Dumbledore, in the library, with the rope
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:05 PM on June 21, 2007


XXX attacked trough the imperius curse and XXX, to protect the life of XXX fight hardly for more than 6 pages and then finally die.

I see the hacker has mastered perfect trollspeak.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:05 PM on June 21, 2007


dramatic prarie dog didn't see it coming.
posted by shmegegge at 5:14 PM on June 21, 2007



"Compare and contrast -- When I worked on a movie-based video game, there was only one paper copy of the final shooting script of the film (big name, you've all seen it), kept under lock and key. There was no electronic copy available, because of the ease with which it could be copied and passed around. And it leaked anyway. So, Harry Potter is a much larger franchise, and security is lax."


My friend worked for Scholastic and their security was similar... I find it hard to believe that their British counterpart was any different.
posted by Shanachie at 5:16 PM on June 21, 2007


I think it's admirable that Harry comes out of the closet in this final episode, no matter what anybody says.
posted by troybob at 5:17 PM on June 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yes, but the 27 page soliloquy about the irony of being a powerful young wizard and yet being caught by a simple broom closet was pretty goddam silly.
posted by cortex at 5:18 PM on June 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


Remember how Harry Potter was supposed to engender an entire generation of literate kids? Yeah, well, not so much, apparently.

Although perhaps the last book is so blindingly stupid that it simply burned the grammar right out of those poor "hackers". You never know.
posted by phooky at 5:20 PM on June 21, 2007


Spear phishing used to be called 'social engineering'

"Spear phishing" sounds cooler; however, my impression from reading the post is that the "hacker" specifically targeted an employee and then used their network access to get to the book. That's quite different from social engineering, and an interesting issue for corporate IT types.

That said, I find it highly, highly unlikely that there would be a copy of the book in digital form floating around, particularly not on the hard drive of a low-tier employee. I also wouldn't be surprised at all if some employees have read the book, but it's likewise questionable that they'd discuss something like that on the corporate network -- that's a real good way to get fired and then sued, precisely because of what is claimed to have happened here.

(Of course, ipso facto, it does happen -- I'm just skeptical that a screwup would be tolerated on the particular issue of Harry Potter, when it's of such importance to the company and so easy to monitor.)
posted by spiderwire at 5:23 PM on June 21, 2007


Perhaps the sp34r ph1sh3r harpooned a decoy manuscript. Bloomsbury might have anticipated Joey Michaels' idea and larded their employees' hard drives with apocryphal fan fiction epics to throw would-be spoilers off the scent.
posted by Iridic at 5:24 PM on June 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


four panels writes "m I the only person in the world that hasn't read any of the Harry Potter books (or seen the movies)?"

Count me in , plus all this annoying OH NOES viral marketing suggests I will just read something more interesting.
posted by elpapacito at 5:29 PM on June 21, 2007


written at a sub-literate level and the plot that was described seems implausible

so, you've read the previous books in the series then, yeah?
posted by dorian at 5:29 PM on June 21, 2007 [2 favorites]


Count me in , plus all this annoying OH NOES viral marketing suggests I will just read something more interesting.

But then how will we ever know teh huge secret endign?! It may never make it onto teh intarwebs
posted by spiderwire at 5:30 PM on June 21, 2007


I heard Harry kills Hermine in the Magic Theater.

No, wait, that's Stepenwolf.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:31 PM on June 21, 2007


Maybe its Harry Potter who's doing the spoiling.
posted by troybob at 5:31 PM on June 21, 2007


I hear Harry wakes up next to Suzanne Pleshette and tells her that he had the strangest dream.
posted by djlynch at 5:40 PM on June 21, 2007 [3 favorites]


I don't think this is viral marketing at all. At least not coming from publishers. The Harry Potter books have a big fanbase, which will get book 7 lots of money without the need for any marketing. Bloomsbury and Scholastic could just announce a date and not do anything more, and all the fans are still going to be there waiting for the bookstores to open. Harry Potter is past the need for marketing at this point.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 5:42 PM on June 21, 2007


"We make this spoiler to make reading of the upcoming book useless and boring ..."

Hmm, something tells me these guys don't quite understand the point of reading a book.
posted by falconred at 6:08 PM on June 21, 2007 [7 favorites]


You know, I don't really see how spoilers actually "ruin" the book for anyone. "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" really was spoiled, with two or three actual pages scanned in on the days before the book was released.

I read the spoilers -- ah, stupid me, I stumbled upon them on message boards that had been spammed.

But I still went to get the book on release night, and I still enjoyed it, and I still *do* enjoy it. Even if a few pages are leaked, and even if those are vital pages, there is no way in which that compromises the integrity of the book.

You don't read just to find out what happens in the end.

Having said all that, this stuff is clearly the work of an amateur.
posted by brina at 6:11 PM on June 21, 2007


Tyler Durden is Keyser Soze
posted by Tbola at 6:23 PM on June 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


Harry is not Hermione's brother. He's Hermione's sister.

DUNN DUNN DUNNNN!
posted by SPrintF at 6:31 PM on June 21, 2007


Who kill curiosity?

<spoiler>Darth Vader kill curiosity.</spoiler>
posted by aaronetc at 6:51 PM on June 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


This is how Harry Potter really ends.

Not at all. It ends with the revelation that the whole saga is the escapist fantasy of Harry Potter, a long-term inmate of a psychiatric hospital who grew up as disturbed as you'd expect from being raised by an emotionally abusive foster-family who kept him locked in a cupboard.

Suggested film ending: within the fantasy he triumphs, then we get a fade to the final scene of his real adult self (played by Pruitt Taylor Vince) in a ward washroom self-inflicting a zigzag wound in his forehead with a scrap of broken glass.
posted by raygirvan at 6:56 PM on June 21, 2007 [5 favorites]


Harry and Ron are sitting at one of the massive tables in the great hall. One of the Slytherin students at the next table gets up to go to the lavatory. Hermione, after having much trouble landing her broom, runs through the door. Harry looks up, sees her, and then-
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 7:09 PM on June 21, 2007 [4 favorites]


Sounds like a typical Slytherin plot to me.

On a serious note, although I read the first five, I never got around to reading Halfblood Prince. Of course, I know the "big spoiler", but that doesn't bother me as much as the prospect of having to read two giant books this summer.
posted by yhbc at 7:27 PM on June 21, 2007


I'm in the same boat as you, yhbc. I read the fifth one sometime around winter break, and found I was too overwhelmed to continue reading the sixth.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 7:33 PM on June 21, 2007


Suggested film ending: within the fantasy he triumphs, then we get a fade to the final scene of his real adult self (played by Pruitt Taylor Vince) in a ward washroom self-inflicting a zigzag wound in his forehead with a scrap of broken glass.

And when he escapes from said washroom, he reveals himself to be the protagonist of Manhunt 2!
posted by jbickers at 7:45 PM on June 21, 2007


Spoiler: Malfoy gets a Ferrari and, because Harry must have everything better than everyone else, Harry's great uncle Fizban shows up to give him his secret inheritance: a lamborghini.
posted by Vindaloo at 7:51 PM on June 21, 2007


Spear phishing used to be called 'social engineering'
Phishing is a kind of social engineering. Traditional(?) social engineering is even more focused on a single specific person than spear-phishing, though.
posted by hattifattener at 8:15 PM on June 21, 2007


This is the way Harry Potter ends
This is the way Harry Potter ends
This is the way Harry Potter ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:20 PM on June 21, 2007 [4 favorites]


I've read better fan fic.
posted by candyland at 8:28 PM on June 21, 2007


Heh - quite by coincidence I was using Inquisitor to look up the word "despoil" and it offered me despoling harry.
posted by kcds at 8:50 PM on June 21, 2007


I seen a couple few of the Harry Potter movies, cuz they were there and I was bored. I liked Prisoner of Azkaban. The rest of the series so far has been rather meh with me. Obviously though, I'm simply not the demographic.

Recently I been getting into the Sue Grafton Letter Mysteries. I doubt they'll ever be made into movies, but they're a fun light read for us old farts.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:08 PM on June 21, 2007


I heard he became the admin of Veteran's hospital in Missouri after the war and Klinger became his assistant. Oh wait, that was Colonel Potter. Horse hockey!
posted by GavinR at 9:48 PM on June 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


It cuts to black in the end, and we don't know if Tony lives or dies!
posted by rsanheim at 12:12 AM on June 22, 2007


why are you talking about this?
can't any anonymous schmuck pretend to have inside information about an upcoming release and invent "spoilers" to post on the internet, with absolutely no bona fides supporting the proposition that he actually possesses this knowledge? isn't a convincing demonstration of possession of this knowledge a prerequisite to any consideration whatsoever in this context? if i spent another $5 to come back here as "j.k. rowling's cat" and inform you that harry potter was a psych test subject in a sensory deprivation tank at cornell who imagined all seven books in the course of 48 hours, but i presented no evidence to support my claim of inside knowledge, would 60-70 of you really take time out of your day to discuss this allegation?
posted by bruce at 12:17 AM on June 22, 2007


no, but we would have a bit of fun discussing how silly it was
posted by troybob at 5:47 AM on June 22, 2007


they're all in a snowglobe?!
posted by thekilgore at 6:41 AM on June 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


I cant believes that at the end of the story you don't think truth telling I can be. I have seen the hacker e-mails with employee of book company. Reading the story all the way through, everything I post on internet is so true. In fact, I must add that also Harry Potter damaged Snape so badly that Snape thrust penis into Harry Potter anus after that Harry Potter spewed sperm graciously over Hogwarts.

Also, I am add that you should give me your bank account info for trasnfer of funds from my dad who is rich farmer in Nigeria. government taking money away, and secret in bank account. Now I am willing to give you 40 percent of the over 100 million dollars US in govermtn bank account. Please reply immediately. Thanks you.
posted by Debaser626 at 7:05 AM on June 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


p.s. I can has cheeseburger?
posted by Debaser626 at 7:12 AM on June 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Rosemary turns out to be the mother of Jesus
posted by b1tr0t at 7:17 AM on June 22, 2007


I heard Grando Calrissian kills Harry with a black lightsaber.
posted by designbot at 7:35 AM on June 22, 2007


The rumors that JoAnn Rowling routinely debunks on her website are an entertaining read if you've read the books. Plus she's funny:

...the Giant Squid is actually the world's largest Animagus, which rises from the lake at the eleventh hour, transforms into Godric Gryffindor and... well, I wouldn't like to spoil it.

Godric Gryffindor, in the lake, with the ruby-encrusted sword. First he'll kill Voldemort, and then Harry will die dramatically of mortal Quidditch wounds. Aunt Petunia will become the new DADA teacher, and Ron will dump Hermoine for Draco. Dumbledore will return from the dead to fight a balrog.
posted by Tehanu at 8:07 AM on June 22, 2007


I can't tell you how it ends... but I can say that, as you turn the seventh-to-last page, it trips a microchip which causes Imogen Heap to play from a well-concealed speaker in back of the book.
posted by the_bone at 8:38 AM on June 22, 2007


Harry turns out to be a replicant, and Harrison Ford kills him, but feels bad about it.
posted by merelyglib at 8:46 AM on June 22, 2007


Meh. Even an infinite number of monkeys with an infinite number of typewriters will eventually figure out the exact ending of Harry Potter.
posted by Krrrlson at 8:51 AM on June 22, 2007


(Though I suspect it will take a lot less.)
posted by Krrrlson at 8:51 AM on June 22, 2007


Speaking of monkeys, I've heard J.K. Rowling's writing technique is basically to throw a bunch of crap at the wall and then see what sticks.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:22 AM on June 22, 2007


I read the supposed spoiler, and was unimpressed. Aside from the fact that the information presented was so poorly written as to be nearly incoherent, the events in this information were so unsatisfying, boring, and unlikely as to be completely inconsistent with Ms. Rowling's work. I've read fan fiction that was far better.

Perhaps these illiterate individuals did manage to hack the publishing company. But that also assumes the publishers are so stupid as to have only one manuscript available. Even tv and film producers are clever enough to maintain a collection of false scripts.
posted by bshock at 11:00 AM on June 22, 2007


After reading the sixth book when it came out, my sons came up with an ending that, as we all embellished upon it, sounded pretty darn good to us, so if we don't like J. K. Rowling's seventh book, we'll just write our own. I don't really care if there are spoilers or not!
posted by misha at 2:36 PM on June 22, 2007


And when Harry finally opens the door at the top of the Tower, it takes him back to the cupboard under the stairs, just before his eleventh birthday....
posted by happyturtle at 5:27 AM on June 23, 2007


Harry finds the guys who made the snuff film, but not before they kill the lawyer.

Harry dies exactly as his father did, and sees his younger self just before he dies, so we learn the images of his parents are not dreams or premonitions but memories.

Harry and his friends are rescued in Manchester by military personel who imprison Harry and capture Hermione with the intent to repopulate the species. Harry unleashes a recently infected Ron on the military, and escapes with Hermione to the english countryside.

In the last round of Quidditch, Harry's team is down by four. He makes a desperate effort to turn everything around, fails spectacularly, but the team celebrates anyway.

Voldemort's charred corpse rises out of the ashes and has one more go at Harry, but Hermoine shoots at it repeatedly and then Ron blows it up one last time.

The mundane police show up and shower Valdemort with bullets, but Hermione realizes too late that Valdemort showed more passion than either Harry or Ron could ever muster. The narrator ends by quoting a random bible verse about giants, and cautions the audience to watch out for snakes.

Lord Voldemort captures Harry, who escapes again, but eventually turns himself in, and then gets a job with Voldemort when he proves his worth.

Hermione meets with a representative of the aliens, but upon her return has no substantial proof to give anyone, and thus learns the true meaning of the word 'faith.'

Ron kills the rabid dog and they get out of the car.

The entire northern hemisphere freezes over, and the Queen takes over after the dramatic death of the Prime Minister. She helps Hermione and Ron rescue and thaw out a frozen Harry.

The police find pieces of a broken canoe up river, but can't prove anything, and the students go their separate ways, but Ron has very very bad dreams.

God shows up and blows off Valdemort's head by speaking, then she impregnates Hermione.

They find the Deathly Hollows. It was in the car where they left it, dude.
posted by ZachsMind at 12:13 PM on June 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


I signed up to post comments in the first place to vent rationally about everything Harry Potter. But now that I'm here, I really just wanted to say in the end that whatever happens happens. We'll find out if any of it is true this Saturday when the book comes out and we can read it. The Hacker may be just as famous as Harry Potter, but Harry's legend lives on. Everything the Hacker says won't really matter in a few days. The end of the final installment of the book will matter forever.
posted by 4writer_pookie at 6:31 PM on July 17, 2007


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