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Hackers Use Beyonce and Brad to Target Users

While it doesn’t exactly take rocket science to figure out why attackers and spammers are targeting those who are downloading images of their favorite pop and rock stars like there’s no tomorrow, it seems more and more cybercriminals are cashing on the fact that fans of certain celebrities like to check up on their idols more often than others.

"Cybercriminals employ numerous methods, yet one of the simplest but most effective ways is to trick consumers into infecting themselves by capitalizing on Americans’ interest in celebrity gossip," said Jeff Green, Senior Vice President of McAfee’s Product Development & Avert Labs.

McAfee claims that when searching for Brad Pitt wallpapers or downloads, users have an 18 percent chance of getting spammed or have their PC being infected with some form of virus or spyware. Brad tops the list with Beyonce coming in second place, McAfee says a search for the singer’s ringtones reveals a significant amount of questionable websites that promote offers designed to harvest users’ personal details.

Other celebrity searches that pose a risk to fans include Jessica Alba, Mariah Carey, David Beckham, Katie Holmes and Heidi Montag.

In other news, Paris Hilton seems to be going out of fashion. McAfee conducted the same study last year and results put Paris at the top of the bill. The 2008 study not only places Brad fans as the most susceptible but shows Ms. Hilton didn’t even make it to the top fifteen this year. She’ll no doubt be upset.