It appears there truly is Something About Mary. Searching for “Cameron Diaz” online carries a one-in-ten chance of landing on a website or on a newsgroup post festering with malicious software that can infect your computer, according to security tech company McAfee.
McAfee compiles a list of the high profile celebrities whose names are used by cybercriminals to lure people online to download items loaded with malicious software.
Sneaky cybercriminals often use the names of popular celebrities to create traps and lure people to sites that are loaded with with malicious software such as spyware, adware, and viruses. Once a computer is infected, criminals will steal victims’ online banking passwords and e-mail passwords.
For the fourth year, The McAfee Most Dangerous Celebrities Study researches which sites and newsgroups are risky to search for celebrity names online. The top 10 celebrities with the highest percentages of risk this year are:
1. Cameron Diaz
2. Julia Roberts
3. Jessica Biel
4. Gisele Bündchen
5. Brad Pitt
6. Adriana Lima
7. Jennifer Love Hewitt, Nicole Kidman
8. Tom Cruise
9. Heidi Klum, Penelope Cruz
10. Anna Paquin
McAfee’s study even unearthed some surprises. Justin Bieber, one of the most popular celebrities at the moment is not only missing from the top, but is way down the list at position #46. Lady Gaga, another widely acclaimed star is also poorly positioned – or well, depending on how you look at it – at number 36.
“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
McAfee has published the list four years in a row now to boost sales of its SiteAdvisor program that vets online sites and usenet for malware and performs other online security pat-downs.