SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — As the host of Project Runway, supermodel Heidi Klum is used to telling designers when their fashions haven’t made the cut. Her popularity has gained her some unwanted fans: computer hackers, who have made Klum the most dangerous celebrity to search for on the Internet, according to a new report.
McAfee, a computer security company that’s now part of semiconductor maker Intel Corp., says in a report this week that searches for Klum are more likely to lead to malicious software than searches for any of the other celebrities they studied, which included Cameron Diaz (last year’s No. 1), Jessica Biel (No. 4) and Tom Cruise (who fell off McAfee’s top 10 list this year.)
There is a common thread: Hackers routinely weave attack commands in photos, videos and other content connected to famous people, especially women, who are more likely to be the subject of searches for racy photos. Only two of the celebrities on this year’s list, Piers Morgan and Brad Pitt, are men.
McAfee said that searches using Klum’s name and other qualifiers such as “hot pictures,” ”screensavers” and “‘free’ downloads” yield a nearly one-in-ten chance of landing on a malicious site.
While some hacking attacks take advantage of so-called “zero day” software vulnerabilities that can’t be blocked, many are easy to prevent. Many attacks require that users install a video player or other piece of software to view what appears to be a video or photo. That is generally a red flag to be avoided.
McAfee’s full list:
1. Heidi Klum.
2. Cameron Diaz.
3. Piers Morgan.
4. Jessica Biel.
5. Katherine Heigl.
6. Mila Kunis.
7. Anna Paquin.
8. Adriana Lima.
9. Scarlett Johansson.
10 (tie). Emma Stone, Brad Pitt and Rachel McAdams.