Intel Security

McAfee Reveals Jimmy Kimmel As the Most Dangerous Cyber Celebrity of 2014

Eighth Annual Study Shows that Searches for Musicians and Comedians are Most Common Among Americans

EDM DJ Armin van Buuren Mixes His Way to the Top Five

SANTA CLARA, Calif.Oct. 1, 2014 — Jimmy Kimmel, comedian and late night host of Jimmy Kimmel Live, replaces Lily Collins (Mirror, Mirror) as McAfee's most dangerous celebrity to search for online. For the eighth year in a row, McAfee researched popular culture's most famous people to reveal the riskiest personalities on the Web. The McAfee Most Dangerous CelebritiesTM study revealed that an eclectic mix of comedians and musicians are among the most dangerous.

Jimmy Kimmel is the second male to find his way to the No. 1 spot (moving up from No. 39) following Brad Pitt in 2008. DJ Armin van Buuren takes the number two spot behind Kimmel, and Ciara, the third. Additional celebrities in the top 10 include Blake Shelton, Britney Spears (holding her place at No.7), and three New Jersey natives: Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi and Chelsea Handler.

As underscored by the recent hackingof female celebrities’ private photos, cybercriminals are consistently looking for ways to take advantage of consumer interest around popular culture events such as award shows, new movies and TV shows, as well as the latest celebrity-driven cultural trends. These criminals capitalize on the public’s fascination with celebrity to lure them to sites laden with malware, which enable them to steal passwords and personal information.

"Most consumers are completely unaware of the security risks that exist when searching for celebrity and entertainment news, images and videos online, sacrificing safety for immediacy," said Gary Davis, chief consumer security evangelist at McAfee. "Cybercriminals capitalize on consumers' attention to breaking celebrity news and leverage this behavior to lead them to unsafe sites that can severely infect their computers and devices and steal personal data."

"Celebrity names coupled with the terms 'video' and 'picture' are some of the most-searched terms on the Internet," said Michelle Dennedy, chief privacy officer at McAfee. "Cybercriminals exploit consumers' need to be updated on celebrity news, leading them to sites that can harm their devices and compromise personal data. We want to ensure we're equipping consumers with the knowledge they need to keep both themselves and their devices safe."

Jimmy Kimmel Searches Yield a Nearly One-in-Five Chance of Landing on a Malicious Site

McAfee research found that searching for the latest Jimmy Kimmel pictures and downloads yields more than a 19% chance of landing on a website that has tested positive for online threats, such as spyware, adware, spam, phishing, viruses and other malware.

The top 10 celebrities from this year's study with the highest percentages of risk are:

Position Celebrity Percentage
1 Jimmy Kimmel 19.38%
2 Armin van Buuren 19.33%
3 Ciara 19.31%
4 Flo Rida 18.89%
5 Bruce Springsteen 18.82%
6 Blake Shelton 18.47%
7 Britney Spears 18.19%
8 Jon Bon Jovi 17.64%
9 Chelsea Handler 17.22%
10 Christina Aguilera 16.67%

 

Dangerously Funny Men & Women

In addition to Jimmy Kimmel (No. 1), Chelsea Handler (No. 9), Jimmy Fallon (No. 12), Adam Sandler (No. 14), Jason Segel (No. 19), Wee Man (No. 35), and Cameron Diaz (No. 41) all rank in the top 50.

Country and EDM Artists Dance to the Top

Representing popular music genres on the rise, country music stars and electric dance music (EDM) artists pump up the top 50 list. Four musicians make the top 50, with two of them landing within the top 10: Armin van Buuren (No.2) and Blake Shelton (No.6). Other musicians at play include: Calvin Harris (No. 17) and Carrie Underwood (No.47).

Chart Toppers Rock Out to the Danger Zone

This year, several rap, hip hop and R&B hit makers are in the top 20: Ciara (No. 3), Flo Rida (No. 4), 50 Cent (No. 13), Cheryl Cole (No. 16) and Iggy Azalea (No. 20). Additional superstars heating up the top 50 are Jason Derulo (No. 24), Jay Z (No. 26), Chris Brown (No. 28), Paul McCartney (No.29), Jennifer Lopez (No. 31), Pitbull (No. 34), Jessie J (No.44), Rihanna (No.45), Justin Timberlake (No.46), and Pharrell Williams (No. 49).

The Garden State

This year, four native New Jerseyians are in the top 25: Bruce Springsteen (No. 5), Bon Jovi (No. 8), Chelsea Handler (No. 9), and JWoww (No.23).

Romantic Comedy’s Leading Ladies

Several of America’s sweethearts are in the top 50 this year, including: Jessica Alba (No. 14) Kate Winslet (No. 18), Jennifer Lopez (No. 31), Jessica Biel (No. 33), Jennifer Aniston (No.37), Jennifer Garner (No.38), and Cameron Diaz (No.41).

Where Have the Kardashians Gone?

Last year, searching for downloads of Kanye West, Kourtney Kardashian, Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian and Kris Jenner were popular among Americans. This year, the Kardashian clan is nowhere to be found. Instead, Jersey Shore star JWoww (No.23) and celebrity mogul Jay Z (No.26) claim spots on the list.

How You Can Stay Protected:

  • Beware of clicking on third party links. You should access content directly from official websites of content providers. For example, visit ABC.com to find Jimmy Kimmel’s latest episodes.
  • Ensure you use web protection that will notify you of risky sites or links before you visit them. Stick to official news sites for breaking news.
  • Don't download videos from suspect sites. This should be common sense, but it bears repeating: don't download anything from a website you don’t trust — especially video. Most news clips you'd want to see can easily be found on official video sites and don’t require you to download anything.
  • "Free downloads" are by far the highest virus-prone search term. Anyone searching for videos or files to download should be careful as not to unleash unsafe content such as malware onto their computers.
  • Always use password protection on your phone and other mobile devices. If you don't and your phone is lost or stolen, anyone who picks up the device could have access to your personal information online.
  • Don't "log in" or provide other information: If you receive a message, text or email or visit a third-party website that asks for your information—credit card, email, home address, Facebook login, or other information—to grant access to an exclusive story, don't give it out. Such requests are a common tactic for phishing that could lead to identity theft.
  • Search online using a tool, such as SiteAdvisor software, which protects users from malicious websites and browser exploits. A complimentary version of SiteAdvisor software can be downloaded at www.siteadvisor.com

Find More Information:

Survey Methodology
The study was conducted using McAfee® SiteAdvisor® site ratings to determine which sites are risky to search when attached to celebrity names on the Web and calculates an overall risk percentage. McAfee SiteAdvisor technology protects users from malicious websites and browser exploits. SiteAdvisor technology tests and rates nearly every Internet website it finds, and uses red, yellow and green icons to indicate the website’s risk level. Ratings are created by using patented advanced technology to conduct automated website tests and works with Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari and Firefox.

The terms "Jimmy Kimmel," "Jimmy Kimmel downloads," "Jimmy Kimmel mp4," and "Jimmy Kimmel torrentz" were used to search for Jimmy Kimmel, and replicated for each celebrity on the list. The results indicated the percentage of risk of running into online threats designed to steal personal information. Fans clicking on these risky sites and downloading files including photos and videos become more vulnerable to downloading viruses and malware.

About McAfee
McAfee is now part of Intel Security. With its Security Connected strategy, innovative approach to hardware-enhanced security, and unique Global Threat Intelligence, Intel Security is intensely focused on developing proactive, proven security solutions and services that protect systems, networks, and mobile devices for business and personal use around the world. Intel Security combines the experience and expertise of McAfee with the innovation and proven performance of Intel to make security an essential ingredient in every architecture and on every computing platform. Intel Security’s mission is to give everyone the confidence to live and work safely and securely in the digital world. www.intelsecurity.com.

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Contacts:
Kim Eichorn
McAfee, part of Intel Security
408-455-2172
Kim_Eichorn@mcafee.com

Eva Ross
DKC
212-981-5218
Eva_Ross@dkcnews.com