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Is there a virus that steals XP key?

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My mom's laptop suddenly wouldn't boot up to Windows XP. In doing some research on it, it appeared that her Windows registry was pretty corrupted and her Windows XP product key was somehow switched with a different key. I googled the key that was on it and found it on an Internet tech support posting out on the web someplace from a few years ago. It was definitely not her key, which was on the Windows sticker on the bottom of her laptop.

Basically we had to wipe the computer completely and reinstall as no means would enable us to change the product key back (tried various ways including regedit, a vb script, and an executable program).

My mom was using ZoneAlarm firewall (free version) and Trend Micro antivirus. Neither detected anything before Windows died from registry corruption. The problem appeared to happen at a time nobody was actually using the PC, and I don't think she had downloaded anything recently.

Anyway, the PC's OK now (although Mum's annoyed she has to put all her apps back on), and I luckily had been able to get all the data off by booting up with Puppy Linux before the wipe, so I don't need help fixing, but I'm very curious - has anyone heard about a virus or worm like this? What virus might it be?
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