You can find almost anything just by searching the Web. There’s a Youtube clip or a website out there that has what you’re looking for–along with a lot of malware and exploits. Cybercriminals know how to take advantage of popular search terms to trick you into downloading malicious software. That’s why Intel Security creates the annual “Most Dangerous Celebrities” list.
This year DJ Armin van Buuren tops the list. I wrote about the 9th annual Intel Security Most Dangerous Celebrities list in this blog post:
Being a DJ seems like a pretty awesome gig if you can get it. A small handful of DJs manage to elevate themselves from the masses to achieve global superstar status—and the attention of malware developers. Just ask Armin van Buuren. He tops the 9th annual Intel Security Most Dangerous Celebrities list.
Intel Security explains the risks associated with Armin van Buuren online. “So, how dangerous is it exactly to search for the trance music legend? To be precise, searching for van Buuren presents a 17.92 percent [chance]of running into online threats — if a user clicked all the results generated by the search terms. That’s nearly a 1 in 5 chance of landing on a site that has ‘malicious’ written all over it.”
Intel Security conducted the study using SiteAdvisor site ratings from McAfee WebAdvisor to determine the number of risky sites generated in search results that include a celebrity name along with other commonly used search terms. That data is used to calculate the overall risk percentage for the celebrity.
Van Buuren poses the greatest risk, but he isn’t the only one you need to watch out for. Armin van Buuren tops a list that includes Luke Bryan, Usher, Britney Spears, Jay Z, Katy Perry, Amy Schumer, Betty White, Lorde, and Nina Dobrev. All ten of the celebrities on the Intel Security Most Dangerous Celebrities list have a greater than 1-in-10 chance of yielding malicious results online such as spyware, adware, spam, phishing scams, viruses, and other exploits.
In many cases it is not the celebrity name alone that poses the risk. It’s a combination of terms like “free MP3” or “torrent” that cybercriminals use as bait to attract victims. Intel Security cautions, “In the case of our No. 1 Most Dangerous Celebrity, search terms like “HD download “and “torrent” combined with “Armin van Buuren” are hotbeds for hacker hoaxes.”
Check out the full story along with what you can do to avoid these “risky” celebrities on CSOOnline.com: Intel Security warns don’t open that email about Armin van Buuren and other ‘dangerous’ celebrities.