Bollywood actor Priyanka Chopra is the most dangerous celebrity in the Indian cyberspace this year, with 79 infected search results. The actor knocked off Sunny Leone, who topped the list last year, according to a study by security solutions firm McAfee.

Shah Rukh Khan, with 75 malicious sites to his credit, ranks second, followed by actor Salman Khan, with 68 infected sites, the company said in a statement.

The study - ‘Most Dangerous Celebrity’ - highlights the trend of cyber criminals taking advantage of fans seeking more information about their idols.

Cyber-criminals capitalise on the public’s fascination with celebrities to lure them to sites laden with malware that can steal passwords and personal information.

This year, searching for a celebrity name coupled with the search terms ‘wall paper’, ‘videos’, ‘nude pictures’ resulted in the highest instances of malware-laden sites.

“By including the names of popular celebrities in a website's search tags, cyber criminals are able to direct more visitors to malicious sites where they may unwittingly sign up for spam or harmful spyware ending up with a malware ridden devices,” said Venkatasubrahmanyam Krishnapur, Vice-President of Engineering-Consumer and Mobile, Business Group at McAfee India Centre.

Kareena Kapoor (ranked at four with 68 infected sites) and Sunny Leone (at nine with 49 infected search results) are the only women to figure in the top 10. Actor Akshay Kumar at fifth position with 62 infected search results, Saif Ali Khan at sxith with 55 infected websites and Amitabh Bachchan at seventh with 53 infected search results are the others in the chart.

rajesh.kurup@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on September 24, 2013)
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