The 13 Most Dangerous Celebrities on the Internet
Sometimes searching for your favourite celeb doesn’t yield the happiest results. And, no, I’m not talking about finding out that they are seeing someone who isn’t you. No, these beloved Hollywood’s starlettes have been misused to inadvertently peddle phishing, malware, and other scams using the old bait-and-switch scheme. Here’s our roundup of 13 celebs whose fandom was targeted with a simple tap or click of a mouse.
Barack ObamaWho knew following a beloved former P.O.T.U.S. on Twitter would be lethal? Back in 2009, during his presidential campaign, Obama’s official account was hacked, seemingly tweeting out, “What is your opinion on Barack Obama? Take the survey and possibly win $500 in free gas,” associated with a link containing malware.
Reminiscing about the good old days when Obama called the shots? Read more about his journey to the White House and 11 other Harvard grads who made it big.
Alexis BledelDespite being known for her lighthearted, lovable roles a la Rory Gilmore, Bledel’s dark realities on set of The Handmaid’s Tale follow her home as she has become the number one target for malicious search results according to a 2019 survey done by cybersecurity software company, McAfee. Her name was commonly linked with the word “torrent.” Where Bledel leads, maybe we shouldn’t follow?
Can’t get enough Bledel? See her in the spotlight with these celebrities who secretly had babies while no one was looking.
Billie EilishEighteen-year-old Eilish has had one hell of a year. It’s no surprise then, that her name has generated virus- and malware-filled links — duh!
The Grammys. The hits. Even her name is at the top of our roster for baby names of 2020.
James CordenSearching for the latest viral carpool karaoke video from the late-night host, Corden has proven to be more susceptible to suspect links.
"Consumers may not be fully aware that the searches they conduct pose a risk, nor may they understand the detrimental effects that can occur when personal information is compromised in exchange for access to their favourite celebrities, movies, TV shows or music,” writes Gary Davis, McAfee’s Consumer Security Evangelist. “Many users don’t realize that simple internet searches of their favourite celebrities could potentially lead to malicious content, as cybercriminals often leverage these popular searches to entice users to click on dangerous links.”
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Kim KardashianTwo years ago, this Kardashian topped McAfee’s most dangerous celebrity list. “We live in a fast-paced world that's heavily influenced by pop culture and social media, with endless opportunities to pick and choose which entertainment options we prefer to enjoy from a variety of connected devices,” said McAfee’s chief scientist Raj Samani.
"With Kim Kardashian's influence and business ventures, people will go to extreme lengths to be a little more like Kim.
Who doesn’t get life, style, body, and everything else inspiration from the Kardashians? Now, you can get baby shower inspiration from Kimmy too!
Celine DionThink twice before visiting the website of Canadian sweetheart, Celine Dion. Her fan photo gallery was once used to display hockey spam that asked fans of the “My Heart Will Go On” singer to fill out their personal information and payment details after clicking a link.
Speaking of images, see Dion in our roundup of the best celebrity style evolutions of the decade.
Amy SchumerLike the case with Bledel, specific search terms revealed to have a higher chance of pulling in vulnerable devices. In 2016, typing “Amy Schumer Torrent” into Google landed you a whopping 33 per cent chance of being funnelled to a malicious website.
Things are looking up for Schumer though as she gave birth to her first child in May 2019 alongside these other celebrity babies.
Sophie TurnerWhether it was her wedding to Jonas Brothers bandmate, Joe Jonas, or the highly anticipated end to that series, Games of Thrones, Turner became a target last year for viruses and spam.
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Jimmy FallonSurprisingly, another late-night host to join McAfee’s infamous 2019 list was Fallon. However, due to the exclusivity and A-list celebrities his show brings in, Fallon’s viral interview videos are most likely the culprit.
Despite his high-profile guests, the king of late night television, totally has a normal wife, as do these other 18 celebs.
Britney SpearsDon’t hit comment one more time! Spears’ Instagram account was once a cesspool for Russian trolls who would post a bitly link hidden in between hashtags and other random jargon. Once clicked, users were taken to a website to download a fake Firefox browser plugin. Once downloaded, the plugin monitored everything typed into the browser, including passwords, personal details, and banking logins.
While it was an odd, roundabout backdoor technique, this made it much more tricky to shut down, as the URL was well-hidden and not identifiable in the malware code.
Akin to malware hidden in plain sight, Spears was one-half of a couple you won’t believe paired up.
Ellen DeGeneresWho doesn’t want to score a ticket to be in the audience of “Ellen’s 12 Days of Giveaways”?
Scammers used this urge as bait to score access to susceptible computers and phones by creating fake DeGeneres Facebook pages that posed the Photoshopped daytime talk show host in front of cash, fancy cars, and large cheques. Posts that ran on these various pages used images and videos stolen from DeGeneres’ real social media accounts. Though, if you actually watched the videos, you’ll notice they’re not even related to the alleged giveaway. Hence why the comments contained various links for users to click to get the details on how they can score a seat at the taping. The only thing these batch of fans got was malware. Nothing kind about that, huh?
SEE ALSO: 10 Celebs Who Mastered the Pivot — and Their Net Worth.
RihannaThis actually isn’t a fun one, as Bad Gal Riri has continuously been used as bate to lure curious types to her sex tape. And P.S. there is no sex tape.
Yes, this is problematic. That’s why Rihanna has been known to clap back against sexism and we are here for it.
Jackie ChanRumours of the acclaimed martial artist’s involvement in Rush Hour 4 and a Karate Kid sequel quickly circulated in 2019. Despite Chan’s representatives shooting down the claims, cybercriminals took advantage of the adoration and nostalgia to see Chan return to his favoured roles.
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