Feeds

VXers love Britney Spears - official

Jacko lags bin Laden in celebrity virus chart

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Home Depot ignored staff warnings of security fail laundry list
'Just use cash', former security staffer warns friends
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
BitTorrent's peer-to-peer chat app Bleep goes live as public alpha
A good day for privacy as invisble.im also reveals its approach to untraceable chats
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.