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Announcement posted by McAfee 29 Sep 2016

Aussie female trio, Rebel Wilson, Rose Byrne and Delta Goodrem top McAfee’s Most Dangerous Celebrities List

SYDNEY, Australia, 29th September 2016 – Aussie female celebrities, Rebel Wilson, Rose Byrne and Delta Goodrem have been named by the 10th annual McAfee Most Dangerous CelebritiesTM study, published by Intel Security, as the riskiest Australian names to search for online.

The past year has seen many high-profile cyber attacks on Australian businesses, online services, apps and new Wi-Fi enabled toys. With ransomware and malware attacks growing rapidly and consumer demand for real time information higher than ever, cybercriminals are continuing to leverage consumers’ ongoing fascination with celebrity news, such as TV shows, movie premieres, album releases and breakups to entice unsuspecting consumers to sites laden with malware, which enables them to steal passwords and personal information.

Analysis of the Australian results revealed that actress Rebel Wilson led the list with a 10.5% risk of returning a malicious website. This year, Wilson famously hit the headlines when she sued several women’s lifestyle magazines for allegedly lying about her age, name and background, undoubtedly leading to increased searches for the actress from the public. Adding to this, the actress’s role in Valentine’s Day blockbuster “How to Be Single” and cameo appearance in cult comedy “Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie” have also contributed to her number one ranking. Further, Wilson’s often-controversial jokes and recent weight loss transformation attracted a great deal of public attention.

Following in second place, Australian talents Rose Byrne and Delta Goodrem go head-to-head for the runner up spot, both with a 10% risk.

Fresh from two Hollywood blockbuster series, “X-Men: Apocalypse” and “Bad Neighbors 2” it’s no surprise that Rose Byrne has climbed to the number two spot. News around her move to theatre and return to Australia to film classic children’s tale “Peter Rabbit” has increased the amount of online searches in her name. The birth of her first child Rocco earlier in the year also caught the attention of the public, as did her post-baby body.

Australian singer-songwriter, TV host and actress Delta Goodrem tied with Byrne in second place with a 10% risk. It’s been a busy year for Delta with the release of a new no.1 album “Wings of the Wild,” her return to the judging panel for hit reality TV series “The Voice” and the announcement of her new role in Australian drama “House Husbands.” Her recent blossoming romance with rugby union star Drew Mitchell has also seen her rise to the top of another kind of list: the hottest Wives and Girlfriends (WAGs) of the Australian Ruby Union team, The Wallabies.

Social media savvy country singer Keith Urban who released his ninth album titled “Ripcord” in May tied fourth with “Bondi Vet” star and popular TV host Dr. Chris Brown, both with a risk of 9.67%. Following in sixth place is internationally renowned and elusive singer Sia (9.33%) whose recent carpool karaoke video with James Corden went viral.

A mixture of talent continued the remainder of the Most Dangerous Celebrities List with pop singer and Australian icon Kylie Minogue (9.22%), rapper and songwriter Iggy Azalea (8.56%), Hollywood sensation Margot Robbie (8.44%), Australian heartthrob and on-and-off boyfriend to Miley Cyrus Liam Hemsworth (8.44%) and finally “The Great Gatsby” star Joel Edgerton (8.44%) completing the list.

The top Australian celebrities from this year’s study with the highest percentages of risk are:



Percentage of Risk


Rebel Wilson


= 2

Rose Byrne


= 2

Delta Goodrem


= 4

Keith Urban


= 4

Dr. Chris Brown






Kylie Minogue



Iggy Azalea


= 9

Margot Robbie


= 9

Liam Hemsworth


= 9

Joel Edgerton


The 2016 Australian list showed a similar trend to the 2015 results with Aussie female celebrities dominating males at a ratio of seven to four and, like last year, are also slightly skewed towards acting talent over singers (six against five).

“This year we’ve seen a ton of influential celebrity activity, from new movie releases, to weight-loss transformations and new A-list romances. Cybercriminals know that celebrity names are some of the most searched for terms online and will stop at nothing to exploit consumer habits and interests for personal gain,” said Melanie Duca, Head of APAC Consumer Marketing & Online for Intel Security.

“Individuals need to be aware of this and stay alert when clicking on celebrity news sites for the latest gossip to make sure they’re not being lured to an unsafe site where their data could be compromised,” she concluded.

Global Analysis

On a global scale, kicking off her world tour this spring, comedian Amy Schumer has found her way to the number one spot. Chart-topping popstar Justin Bieber comes in second followed by “Today” show anchor and “The Voice” TV Host Carson Daly in third, and blockbuster movie star Will Smith in fourth. Rounding out the top 10 are Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Chris Hardwick, Daniel Tosh, Selena Gomez and Kesha. Five of the top 10 included some of the most sensational chart-topping artists, whilst three comedians also crowded the top 10.

The top global celebrities from this year’s study with the highest percentages of risk are:





Amy Schumer



Justin Bieber



Carson Daly



Will Smith






Miley Cyrus



Chris Hardwick



Daniel Tosh



Selena Gomez





How You Can Stay Protected:

Consumers can do their part by being vigilant in practising safe online behaviour with the following tips:

Think before you click! Are you looking for the latest episode of your favourite TV show? Don’t click on that third-party link. Instead, get your content directly from the original source to ensure you aren’t clicking on anything that could be malicious.

Use caution when searching for “torrent.” This is by far the riskiest search term. Cybercriminals can use torrents to embed malware within authentic files, making it difficult to determine if a file is safe. It’s best to avoid using torrents especially when there are so many legitimate streaming options available.

Keep your personal information personal. Cybercriminals are always looking for ways to steal your personal information. If you receive a request to enter information like your credit card, email, home address or social media login don’t give it out thoughtlessly. Do your research and ensure it’s not a phishing or scam attempt that could lead to identity theft.

Browse safely using protection like McAfee® WebAdvisor software. WebAdvisor will help keep you safe from malicious websites by helping to identify potentially risky sites. A complimentary version of the software can be downloaded at www.mcafee.com/mcafeewebadvisor

Use cross device protection. Consumers need to protect all facets of their digital lives regardless of where they are, what device they use or where they store their personal data. Use solutions that work across all your devices to deliver protection against threats, such as malware, hacking and phishing attacks.

Find More Information: 

·       To learn more about the research, check out:

Blog post from Gary Davis: https://blogs.mcafee.com/consumer/amy-schumer-dangerous-celebrities/

- Blog post from Alex Merton-McCann, Australian Cybermum: http://apac.intelsecurity.com/digitalsafety/2016/09/28/australias-most-dangerous-celebrities-of-2016/

Twitter: Follow @IntelSec_APAC for live online safety updates and tips. Use hashtag #RiskyCeleb to discuss the Most Dangerous Celebrities of 2016

Web surfers can also visit the Intel Security Facebook page at www.facebook.com/IntelSecAPAC and McAfee Security Advice Center for information on the latest consumer threats and tips for living safe online.

If you do decide to search for information on a major event or celebrity in the news, make sure your entire household’s devices have protection, such as McAfee LiveSafe™ service which helps protect most PCs, Macs and tablets and smartphones. It includes malware detection software, McAfee® Mobile Security for Android or iPhone and iPad, to better protect your smartphone or tablet from many types of malware.

 Survey Methodology

Intel Security conducted the study using McAfee® WebAdvisor site ratings to determine the number of risky sites generated by searches, on Google*, Bing* and Yahoo!*, that included a celebrity name and commonly searched terms (noted below) likely to yield malware. From that, an overall risk percentage was calculated for each celebrity. “Most dangerous” means that these celebrities are likely popular search subjects.

McAfee SiteAdvisor technology helps protect users from malicious websites and browser exploits. SiteAdvisor technology tests and rates nearly every internet website it finds, and uses red, yellow and green icons to indicate the website’s risk level. Ratings are created by using patented advanced technology to conduct automated website tests and works with Internet Explorer*, Chrome* and Firefox*. Search terms included:

o   “Celeb name + Torrent”

o   “Celeb name + Free MP4

o   “Celeb name + HD download”

The results indicated the percentage of risk of running into online threats if a user clicked all the results generated by the terms. Fans clicking on sites deemed risky and downloading files including photos and videos from those sites may also be prone to downloading viruses and malware.

About Intel Security

Intel Security, with its McAfee product line, is dedicated to making the digital world safer and more secure for everyone. Intel Security is a division of Intel Corporation. Learn more at www.intelsecurity.com


- ENDS -


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