In the wake of news that a hacking ring may have broken into the cell phones and email accounts of the A-listers and stolen titillating pics that have since been leaked to the internet, Johansson and Kunis now have the (dubious) honor of landing on McAfee’s 2011 list of the most dangerous celebrities In cyberspace.
Sure, it sounds sexy, but the computer security company says its annual rundown is a stark reminder for users to be on the lookout for Internet scammers.
Kunis came in sixth and Johansson ninth this year, the first time the two beauties cracked the top ten. But as Dang told us, there’s no doubt the two actresses’ sexy images are already being utilized by cybercriminals in phishing scams to lure users to websites containing malicious malware.
“When you see a message that says ‘This is too funny you gotta look at this’ or ‘Check out nude photos,’ it’s people who’s curiosity gets the best of them falling victim to this thing,” adds the security expert. “Once they get infected with malware, then a bad guy can steal your personal identifiable information, credit card and banking information. Celebrities have fallen victim to this as well, like Scarlett Johansson.”
Taking the title of world’s most dangerous celeb to search for on the web this year was Project Runway host and former Victoria’s Secret Angel Heidi Klum. Trailing her was Cameron Diaz, who topped the list last year, while logging third place was CNN host and America’s Got Talent Judge Piers Morgan of all people, followed by Jessica Biel and Katherine Heigl in fourth and fifth respectively.
So how does a guy like Piers rank so high a risk? In this case, it’s not naked pics but rather Morgan’s ongoing visibility in the media (and maybe those headlines of his alleged involvement in the U.K.’s phone-hacking scandal).
“To be honest, Piers was a bit of a surprise to me as well,” says Dang. “He’s evidently growing up in ranks as far as his celeb status and his name is becoming common place.”
The folks at McAfee say hackers have become particularly sophisticated at taking advantage of the day’s news to steal personal information.
Dang notes that one way they accomplish this is using search engine optimization. First, they create fake websites hosting malicious software. Then they’ll try to attract the curious by advertising, for example, ScarJo’s nude pics.
“It allows them to increase their ranking on Google so that when someone does a search for Scarlett, those will be one of the first few links they see on the top pages so when you click on it, you immediately get infected,” he said.
And they’re not the only risky celebs.
Rounding out the top ten, True Blood‘s Anna Paquin grabbed the seventh spot, supermodel and Victoria’s Secret angel Adriana Lima the eighth and Emma Stone, Brad Pitt and Rachel McAdams all tied for tenth place.
And sorry, Charlie Sheen, you may think of yourself as a warlock with your recent public tirades, but McAfee doesn’t consider you dangerous. You rank a measly 59.
By: Joss Grossberg