A computer hacker claims to have revealed the ending of the final Harry Potter book - but a security spokesman says the information could be fake.

Posting as "Gabriel," the hacker claims to have taken a digital copy of J.K. Rowling's seventh and final Harry Potter book Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows by breaking into a computer at London-based Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

Posting on the web site InSecure.org, Gabriel wrote "We make this spoiler to make reading of the book useless and boring." A Bloomsbury spokesman declined to comment on the hacker's claims.

David Perry, a spokesman for computer security company Trend Micro, said Gabriel's claim may well be a hoax. "We've had hypes like this on the last couple of Harry Potter books," he said. "There is a very high level of spurious information in the hacker world."

The Harry Potter books have sold some 320 million copies worldwide, and publishers have gone to great pains to keep secret the characters' fates.

A stolen copy of the sixth Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince, surfaced in Britain about one month before its official release in July 2005.

Two people were charged after reportedly trying to sell a copy to the London Sun tabloid.