For the fourth year in a row, McAfee researched popular culture’s most famous people to reveal the riskiest celebrity athletes, musicians, politicians, comedians and Hollywood stars on the Web.
The McAfee Most Dangerous Celebrities study found movie stars and models top the “most dangerous” list this year while politicians like Barack Obama and Sarah Palin are among the safest.
Cybercriminals often use the names of popular celebrities to lure people to sites that are actually laden with malicious software. Anyone looking for the latest videos or pictures could end up with a malware-ridden computer instead of just trendy content.
“This year, the search results for celebrities are safer than they’ve been in previous years, but there are still dangers when searching online,” said Dave Marcus, security researcher for McAfee Labs. “Through consumer education and tools, such as McAfee® SiteAdvisor® site ratings, consumers are getting smarter about searching online, yet cybercriminals are getting sneakier in their techniques. Now they’re hiding malicious content in ‘tiny’ places like shortened URLs that can spread virally in social networking sites and Twitter, instead of on websites and downloads.”
Cameron Diaz Searches Yield Ten Percent Chance of Landing on a Malicious Site
McAfee research found that searching for the latest Cameron Diaz pictures and downloads yields a ten percent chance of landing on a website that’s tested positive for online threats, such as spyware, adware, spam, phishing, viruses and other malware.
Fans searching for “Cameron Diaz” or “Cameron Diaz and downloads,” “Cameron Diaz and screen savers,” “Cameron Diaz and wallpaper,” “Cameron Diaz and photos” and “Cameron Diaz and videos” are at risk of running into online threats designed to steal personal information. Clicking on these risky sites and downloading files like photos, videos or screensavers exposes surfers or consumers to the risk of downloading the viruses and malware.