McAfee’s fourth annual Most Dangerous Celebrities list came out today, rounding out today’s McAfee news in an unexpected way. The list ranks various high-profile people from entertainment, politics, sports, and Justin Bieber, ranking them by the percentage of search results that lead to sites testing positive for various undesirables. Those undesirables include malware, spyware, viruses, and spam.
McAfee was quick to note that the risk is actually lower this year than last–the top spots are less risky, overall. But as always, hackers spread malware and other baddies through more clever avenues, including social networking sites and hidden links like the shortened URLs used on Twitter to save space.
The most dangerous celebrity this year is, for some reason, Cameron Diaz. Searching for the star of such clunkers as Knight and Day (in which one character is named Knight, but nobody is named Day–true story) leads to about a one in ten chance of stumbling on something nasty. Searching for “Cameron Diaz and screensavers” leads to a whopping 19% chance of computer illness. Apparently hackers are having a retro, circa 1998 kind of year in which There’s Something About Mary is the greatest movie ever and screensavers of flying toasters are the bomb.
Other risky celebrities in the top ten include Julia Roberts, Jessica Biel (last year’s winner/loser), Tom Cruise, and, um, Jennifer Love Hewitt. The riskiest sports stars are both tennis players (Andy Roddick and Maria Sharapova), Justin Bieber is (thank God!) not much of a risk. Rounding out the bottom of the list are politicians, including President Obama and Sarah Palin, both of whom are ranked quite safe. This says something entirely unflattering about Internet culture in 2010.