CelebGate: a Long, Dangerous List of Celebrities

During the past few days, the media has been abuzz with the massive celebrity photo leak nicknamed CelebGate 2014. The story started on August 31 when the first nude pictures appeared on a 4chan board. An alarming list of victims has been posted.

Fake or true, today almost 450 pictures and videos are circulating on 4chan, Reddit, or Imgur in connection with this story. A Google search for “CelebGate 2014” returns more than 1.4 million URLs. While some netsurfers work at posting them, website administrators work at deleting them.

The forums are inflamed, and dedicated websites are popping up to expose these photos.

And of course, malicious software is never far from such stories. Searching for these real or fake pictures is a dangerous sport. Behind the URLs you can discover via Google or dedicated forums, most of these paths are dangerous. Your chance of landing on a page that tests positive for spam, adware, spyware, viruses, or other malware is almost a sure thing.

My first two attempts infected my test computer.

After I disabled my antivirus for 10 minutes to easily browse, I was (not) surprised to detect 10 or more new infections (in the following case several Trojans).

In 2013, McAfee made a list of the 10 most dangerous celebrities. Today we appear to have a Top 100!

You should always be extra cautious when searching hot topics, which often lead to unwanted programs offered by unscrupulous companies or to malicious sites created by cybercriminals.

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