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Cameron Diaz named web's most dangerous celeb

One in ten chance of picking up infection

Cameron Diaz has been named the most dangerous celebrity on the web for 2010 by McAfee.

Research by the security firm, which is in the process of being acquired by Intel, revealed that web users searching for images, screen savers and videos of the 'Knight and Day' actress have a one in ten chance of being presented with results that lead to malicious web pages.

McAfee wanrs that cybercriminals often use the names of popular celebrities to trick web users into visiting sites infected with malicious software. Those navigating to the site could find the malware installed on their PCs.

Pretty Woman star Julia Roberts was named the second most dangerous celebrity on the web, while Justin Timberlake's current girlfriend, Jessica Biel, took third place.

McAfee also said that while movie stars and models top the 'most dangerous' list this year politicians including US President Barack Obama and Sarah Palin are among the safest celebrities to search for online.

The McAfee Most Dangerous Celebrities study used information from McAfee's Site Advisor tool which alerts users to sites infected with malware before they click through to them.

"This year, the search results for celebrities are safer than they've been in previous years, but there are still dangers when searching online," said Dave Marcus, security researcher, McAfee Labs.

"Cybercriminals are getting sneakier in their techniques. Now they're hiding malicious content in 'tiny' places like shortened URLs that can spread virally in social networking sites and Twitter, instead of on websites and downloads."

McAfee's news comes as Facebook users are being warned of yet another scam involving Justin Bieber.

According to Sophos, social networkers are being offered free tickets to see the 16 year-old Canadian pop star in concert. However, users clicking on the 'WOW! Justin Bieber Is Giving Away Free Concert Tickets Now' are asked to enter a mobile phone number. By doing this they will find themselves signed up to a premium rate service that costs £4.50 per week.

The application also posts fake status update to a user's profile claiming they have won tickets in a bid to encourage their friends to click the link too.

"This is a dirty rotten trick to make money out of Justin Bieber's young fans," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

Facebook users need to start thinking more carefully about messages like this that are shared by their friends, especially when asked to install an application that can access their Facebook profile. Not only are users signing up to a costly charge on their mobile phone bill, but they are also exposing their personal information and endangering their online friends."

See also: McAfee to compensate firms hit by dodgy update


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