Vulnerabilities / Threats
8/25/2009
01:59 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Jessica Biel Searches Deemed Most Dangerous

Searching for celebrities may be one of the most effective ways to infect your computer.

In its third annual list of the most dangerous celebrities in cyberspace, McAfee has found that 20% of searches for "Jessica Biel," "Jessica Biel downloads," Jessica Biel photos" and the like lead to Web sites where malicious content has been detected.

The company defines malicious content as spyware, adware, spam, viruses, or phishing mechanisms. Visiting sites hosting such content, particularly using a computer with software that hasn't been updated to the latest version, can often result in that computer being compromised.

Cybercriminals know that celebrities and popular news generate significant interest among Internet users and thus try to place malware at sites where visitors might seek that sort of information. When such sites prove secure, they will create their own sites with malicious content or post malicious content though a user content submission mechanism and then create spam messages and external Web links to drive search traffic to their trapped sites.

"Cybercriminals are star watchers too -- they latch onto popular celebrities to encourage the download of malicious software in disguise," said Jeff Green, SVP of McAfee Avert Labs, in a statement. "Consumers' obsession with celebrity news and culture is harmless in theory, but one bad download can cause a lot of damage to a computer."

McAfee's list of the top ten most dangerous celebrity searches includes:

01. Jessica Biel
02. Beyoncé
03. Jennifer Aniston
04. Tom Brady
05. Jessica Simpson
06. Gisele Bundchen
07. Miley Cyrus
08. Megan Fox, Angelina Jolie
09. Ashley Tisdale
10. Brad Pitt

If someone or something is popular online, count on cybercriminals trying to associate the topic with malware. Last month, MX Logic, another security company, noted that spammers were using Google Hot Trends, a list of popular search topics, to target spam.

Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo all make an effort to flag, block or remove malicious content from their search indexes, but cybercriminals typically can create new malicious sites at least as quickly as old malicious content can be removed.

InformationWeek Analytics has published an independent analysis on strategic security. Download the report here (registration required).

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-7407
Published: 2014-10-22
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in the MRBS module for Drupal allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of unspecified victims via unknown vectors.

CVE-2014-3675
Published: 2014-10-22
Shim allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (out-of-bounds read) via a crafted DHCPv6 packet.

CVE-2014-3676
Published: 2014-10-22
Heap-based buffer overflow in Shim allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted IPv6 address, related to the "tftp:// DHCPv6 boot option."

CVE-2014-3677
Published: 2014-10-22
Unspecified vulnerability in Shim might allow attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted MOK list, which triggers memory corruption.

CVE-2014-4448
Published: 2014-10-22
House Arrest in Apple iOS before 8.1 relies on the hardware UID for its encryption key, which makes it easier for physically proximate attackers to obtain sensitive information from a Documents directory by obtaining this UID.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.