Feeds

VXers love Britney Spears - official

Jacko lags bin Laden in celebrity virus chart

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Spanish anti-virus firm Panda Software has produced a ranking of the famous people most often used to spread viruses on the internet. The listing follows the recent distribution of a Trojan horse malware using spam messages posing as information about a supposed suicide attempt by Michael Jackson.

Exploiting society's fascination with celebrity to trick punters into running malware is a common ruse. Celebrity malware is spread either in viruses attached to infected emails or (increasingly commonly) loaded onto maliciously constructed websites promoted using spam messages. Both these types of attack invariably only target Windows PCs leaving Mac and Linux users untouched. Serious security commentators, such as VMyths, argue that focusing on the use of celebrities is nonsense that has nothing to do with information security.

They're right, of course, but it's still interesting to find out that Britney Spears tops PandaLabs's celebrity virus ranking, as the involuntary protagonist of the numerous virus attacks over the years. Bill Gates comes in as runner-up behind the toxic songstress. Fifth in the list is terrorist mastermind Osama Bin Laden, the frequent subject of malware spreading emails claiming that he has either been hung or captured. Other famous people who have been used in this context include Anna Kournikova, the subject of infamous Kournikova worm, Bill Clinton, Pamela Anderson, and even Alberto Fujimori, the ex-president of Peru. Places in the list are determined by the number of items of malware featuring a celebrity subject.

PandaLab's celebrity virus ranking:

  1. Britney Spears
  2. Bill Gates
  3. Jennifer Lopez
  4. Shakira
  5. Osama Bin Laden
  6. Michael Jackson
  7. Bill Clinton
  8. Anna Kournikova
  9. Paris Hilton
  10. Pamela Anderson

®

Related stories

Bogus Jackson suicide bid claim used to spread malware
Trojan poses as Osama capture pics
The return of the celebrity virus
Bill Clinton virus proves user security sucks
Britney Spears virus fails to chart

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.