2011 has been a bad year as far as cyber security is concerned. Sony Corp. and Sony Entertainment websites were hacked earlier this year and user details and passwords of thousands of customers were leaked. Last week more than two lakh Facebook accounts were hacked and malicious content was spread through their friends list. At the back of this McAfee India has come out with a list of ‘Most Dangerous Indian Celebrity’. And guess what? Katrina Kaif is topped in this list.
She is widely considered to be the numero uno Indian actress, but she would not have guessed that her fans are suffering because they like her. McAfee conducted a detailed research on popular culture and the most popular and influential personalities. This study has revealed that cyber criminals are taking advantage of the fact that India is a celebrity crazy country. Names of popular celebrities are used as keywords to lure people to websites which contain malicious software. According to McAfee’s ‘Most Dangerous Indian Celebrity’ list Katrina Kaif is both the most popular and most dangerous. She is closely followed by Deepika Padukone and Kareena Kapoor at the second and third positions respectively.
It is common practice among fans to search about their favorite celebrity. When a fan uses a ‘string’ to search, which basically means that they combine the ‘name of the celebrity’ with another search parameter like ‘video’ or ‘free downloads’ or ‘wallpapers’, they run the risk of being led to a website which has malicious software programmed to steal any personal information. The Director of Web Security Research at McAfee, Paula Greve, advises users to be specifically wary of shortened URL’s, which have a tendency to go viral in a social networking environment. She also says that emails and text messages should ideally be scanned before clicking on a link included in it, even if it originates from a known person.
On a more lighter and interesting note, the ‘Most Dangerous Indian Celebrity’ list reveals that Indian actresses are most popular targets for cyber criminals. Six of the top ten ‘dangerous’ celebrities are actresses. Sports personalities and politicians are deemed safer than their Bollywood counterparts.
|Katrina Kaif – The most dangerous celebrity of 2011 is a British Indian actress and former model. Searching for Katrina Kaif results in a 10.26 % chance of landing on a risky web site.|
|Deepika Padukone – The actress of ‘Om shanti Om’ and ‘Love Aaj kal’ fame is the second most dangerous celebrity, with searches resulting in a 10% chance of being led to a malicious website.|
|Kareena Kapoor – The 3rd Most Dangerous Celebrity and winner of six filmfare awards has a 9.8 % possibility of making users fall into a trap of malware laden websites.|
|Saif Ali Khan – Saif Ali Khan has an 8.24 % chance of leading users to malicious sites. The versatile Indian actor made his debut in the Bollywood industry two decades ago.|
|John Abraham- India’s heart throb takes the fifth position on the list; with a risk percentile of 8.07%.|
|Priyanka Chopra – This former Miss World who has been the reigning queen of Bollywood occupies the sixth position on the Most Dangerous Celebrities list with a risk percentile of 8%.|
|Aishwarya Rai Bachchan - Touted as ‘the most beautiful woman in the world’; Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is the seventh most dangerous celebrity. Over the years, Aishwarya has gained international fame and global value by starring in Hollywood movies and endorsing luxury brands.|
|Bipasha Basu - In her decade long career, this Bengali beauty has starred in block buster movies such as Dhoom 2, Omkara and Race. On the 8th position in the Most Dangerous Celebrities ranking, she has a 7.82% percentile of leading users to a malicious site.|
|Aamir Khan – One of the most revered stars in Bollywood, Aamir Khan has redefined the trends of the Hindi film industry with his roles in movies such as Lagaan and 3 Idiots. With a risk percentile of 7.65%, he is on the ninth position in our Most Dangerous Celebrities ranking.|
|Shah Rukh Khan – King Khan is at the tenth position on the Most Dangerous Celebrities list with a risk percentile of 6%.|
It is best to keep your anti-virus pack up-to-date at all times. Keep installing ‘patches’ released by the anti-virus developer, as and when they are made available. Practice safe surfing.