famous celebrity malware attacks

Celebrity Keyword Malware

Links with These Names are Likely to Cause You a Problem

A recent publication by Intel Security (McAfee) has highlighted the dangers of celebrity names being utilized as a tool for hackers. Pop culture is prime bait for hackers seeking to infect user’s computers and mobile devices with malicious malware. Hackers know exactly what the latest trends are online and know how to use them to their advantage.

McAfee has compiled a list of the top 10 most dangerous celebrity names online. This study highlights one of the various ways hackers benefit from people’s attraction to pop culture news.

The top 10 most dangerous names online are as follows:

Position Celebrity Percentage
1 Amy Schumer 16.11%
2 Justin Bieber 15.00%
3 Carson Daly 13.44%
4 Will Smith 13.44%
5 Rihanna 13.33%
6 Miley Cyrus 12.67%
7 Chris Hardwick 12.56%
8 Daniel Tosh 11.56%
9 Selena Gomez 11.11%
10 Kesha 11.11%

In essence, you have a greater than 16% chance of downloading a malicious virus when downloading Amy Schumer content.

How Does This Affect my Business? 

During normal working hours you would hope your employees are not doing online searches for celebrities! However, there is a good chance they will be doing this in their spare time. Employees using company laptops and phones for personal use is becoming more and more common which is slightly concerning for the business owner. Once your employee is disconnected from your Virtual Private Network they are at a greater chance of picking up malware. Viruses including zero-day malware are exactly what companies need to dodge in order to avoid complete data breach catastrophe.

What to Think About

Our advice would be to take extra precautions and prohibit employees from using work laptops and phones for personal use altogether. If you are happy to allow your employees to use company equipment for personal use, be sure to inform them of the dangers of malware and the catastrophic consequences it can have on a business. Stress to employees to think twice before downloading audio and video files from third party sites. Advise them to download from the original source. Be extra careful when searching for ‘Torrent’ on Google as that term is considered ‘risky’ based on Intel Security’s research. Lastly, be wary of phishing emails. The latest breakthrough in pop culture news is exciting for the average online user and hackers recognize that excitement as a vulnerability. The death of Robin Williams back in 2014 was exploited by hackers with the use of social engineering tactics to reel people in with a scam email that falsely featured a video of his last words.

To learn more about Phishing attacks like the celebrity ones above, visit our Phishing Awareness Training page here.
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