New ransomware is named after Harry Potter characters Voldemort and his snake Nagini.
New ransomware is named after Harry Potter characters Voldemort and his snake Nagini.

Bad actors with a taste for the Harry Potters franchise have unleashed a new strain of ransomware they've dubbed Voldemort, named for the villain of the book and movie series.

The virus was named after a few files detected in its coding referred to voldemort.horcrux and Nagini.exe (Nagini is Voldemort's snake). 

The ransomware locks screens on targeted computers and places an image of Voldemort on the monitor before presenting victims with a ransom demand. And, in a departure from usual procedures, rather than demand payment in bitcoin, it demands a credit card payment.

A dig through the strings in the executable code revealed that the actor behind this ransomware signed on as Colosseum.

It was discovered by Michael Gillespie, a self-dubbed ransomware hunter, who said it's still under development.

While it is not yet widely distributed, researchers warn it could spread. Anti-malware tools could help remove it, they said.