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Michael Jackson is riskiest celebrity of 2009

Symantec also reveals top threats for 2010

Michael Jackson has been named the riskiest celebrity of 2009 by Symantec.

In its 'Top Cyber Threats Of 2009' report, the security firm said the King of Pop's death in June this year sparked a deluge of spam and malware campaigns as cybercriminals attempted to exploit his fans.

Serena Williams' outburst at the US Open meant the Tennis Star was named the second most riskiest celebrity of 2009, while Patrick Swayze, Harry Potter and US President Barack Obama made up the rest of the top five.

The hackers behind the Conficker virus were named as the most wanted cybercriminals of 2009, while owning money to the tax office was the most used subject line of spam.

Symantec also said that it expected 2010 to see an increase in scams against social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as a surge in scareware or fake anti-virus programs that encourage web users to part with their hard-earned cash to download hoax security software.

Malware aimed at mobile phones, Apple Mac users and URL shortening websites are also expected to increase next year as spammers look for new ways of targeting web users.

"One thing is for sure, where electronic devices contain personal information that criminals can use for financial gain, they will try and find a way in to obtain that data," Symantec said.

The security firm advised web users to act with cautious and ensure they don't open suspicious emails or attachments, don't reply to request for personal information and use strong passwords.

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See also: Symantec reveals lack of confidence in online retailers


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