Cameron Diaz ranked most dangerous Web celeb: study

Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:24pm EDT
 
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By Zachary Goelman

NEW YORK (Reuters) - She may be known for her playful giggles and killer looks, but now movie star Cameron Diaz has become the most dangerous celebrity on the Internet.

Diaz, 37, is top of the list of the most dangerous celebrities to search for online, above second-placed Julia Roberts, according to computer security company McAfee, Inc. Last year's most dangerous Web celebrity, Jessica Biel, fell to third.

One in ten websites featuring the "Knight and Day" star contain malicious software intended to infect computers and steal data from users, according to research released on Thursday by McAfee.

Creators of malicious software use celebrities as lures, baiting fans and followers to click on and download seemingly innocuous content containing programs designed to steal passwords and other private information for profit, said Dave Marcus, director of security research at McAfee Labs.

"They know that people want to have screensavers of popular individuals. They follow hot topics on the Web and create their poisonous content accordingly," Marcus said.

"This relates to a larger trend of using social engineering lures. A lot of times a cyber criminal will mine Twitter, or follow Google Trends, to poison those links. It's very clear they will use news trends to lure," he said.

Supermodel Gisele Bundchen came in at fourth, followed by Brad Pitt, one of only two men to be listed in the top ten.

"Brad Pitt is historically one of the most dangerous celebrities to search on," said Marcus. "He's always up there."   Continued...

 
<p>1: Cameron Diaz is the most dangerous celebrity to search for online, according to computer security company McAfee, Inc. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle</p>