New Windows Virus Wipes Out MP3 Files! Is the Nopir-B Worm Aimed at Pirates?
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The new W32/Nopir-B virus is a worm with a mission: to search and destroy MP3 files on its victims hard drives. Ouch. While it seems to be aimed at trying to target music pirates who populate their music collection with pirated MP3s through peer-to-peer networks, the worm can’t tell the difference between pirated MP3s and legitimate MP3s (such as those purchased through iTunes, for example).

Explains security company Sophos’ Graham Cluley, “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. 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.”


That it is aimed at music pirates is not in doubt, as when the worm-carried program is run it displays an image on the infected computer with an anti-piracy message. It then deletes all MP3 files it finds, along with files with a “.com” extension. Of course the key here isall MP3 files”, again, legitimate or not.

It also affects a user’s ability to access taskmanager, registry tools, and the control panel, making it nearly impossible to stop and remove once a system is infected.

Suggestions that this worm has been unleashed by the RIAA seem to be unfounded, although there was discussion several months ago that a certain consultant to the RIAA had been paid to create just such a software program.

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As always, the best way to protect yourself is to make sure that your anti-virus software is working, and that its definitions are up-to-date.

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7 thoughts on “New Windows Virus Wipes Out MP3 Files! Is the Nopir-B Worm Aimed at Pirates?
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  1. RE: #3 – Actually, mp3 is short for MPEG-1, Layer 3, not MPEG-3. I had the same thought tho… you can’t get mp3’s from iTMS. You can get them legally from Emusic. I’ve got gigs of them. There are tons of legit reasons to have mp3’s.

  2. Actually you can export any of your iTunes tunes as MP3, and iTunes will also read in MP3s, so Aunty, for example, has tons of MP3s in her iTunes library, all music which was legitimately purchased through the iTunes store. But it is accurate that the format upon initial purchase is not MP3.

  3. Guess it could break some games as well because a few use mp3s to play sounds and music. This definitely smells of RIAA.

  4. If the RIAA is found guilty of spreading or promoting the spread of this virus, I sincerely hope they are dealt with in the same manner, if not worse than other individual virus author found guilty of the same offense.

  5. Files purchased from iTunes are in AAC format, not MPEG3, and have extension m4a, not mp3.

  6. …And just why isn’t our “security” oriented government taking any action on this obvious criminal activity ??? I bet if someone created a virus that “ate” all word documents created on illegal (AND LEGAL) copies of M$ Word and sent the virus to a big corporation there would be an investigation immediately ! Funny how the government gets involved when the “victim” is rich or politically powerful, but the same government could care less when an individual’s property rights are violated.

  7. Hopefully Norton has already included detection for this in its auto-updates. I don’t keep music on my computer anyway, since I never listen to music on it, use a stereo system for that purpose. Only mp3 audio I have on my computer is about a gig of old “Goon Show” radio shows and some Leo Laporte recordings.

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