Malware Linked to Showtime’s ‘Dexter’ Serial Killer?

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REUTERS / HANNIBAL HANSCHKE

Not content with murdering people on television and in prose, serial killer anti-hero Dexter has now moved on to computers as well, with new malware trading on the popular Showtime series’ fame to infect PCs.

According to Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky Labs, the Duqu malware featured a reference to both Dexter and Showtime in the original Microsoft Word document emailed to the virus’ first victim. The infected file attached to the email was titled “Dexter Regular,” and contained the text “Copyright (c) 2003 Showtime Inc. All rights reserved. DexterRegularDexter RegularVersion 1.00 Dexter is a registered trademark of Showtime Inc.”

(MORE: European Businesses Attacked by Son of Stuxnet Virus)

The email containing the “Dexter Regular” file was sent from an IP address in South Korea, but Kapersky’s Alex Gostev believes that computer has also been infected by some kind of malware, and was used “unknowingly (to its owner)” to send the email.

The Duqu malware first appeared in April, and has been compared with the Stuxnet malware that attacked Iranian nuclear centrifuges last year. It has been linked with multiple attacks on European businesses in the last few months; clearly, something that the fictional Dexter would never approve of.

MORE: Japan Criminalizes Cybercrime: Make a Virus, Get Three Years in Jail

Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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