• Cyber criminals are leveraging on the popularity of
fictional superheroes such as Superman and Aquaman
for stealing personal data of users through malicious
softwares, a study by security solutions provider McAfee
• In the study of superheroes that result in the greatest
number of 'infected' sites when users searches for them
online, Aquaman was found the most toxic superhero
with 18.6 per cent chances of landing on a website that
has been tested positive for online threats.
• With the resurgence of superheroes into mainstream
movies, "hackers are leveraging their popularity to
target consumers", the study said.
Fans searching for content related to
superheroes like Superman and Iron Man are
at risk of running into online threats designed
to steal personal information, it said.
"Hackers are most successful when they can
attract a large number of victims. One way to
target big crowds online is to track current
events everything from celebrity meltdowns
and natural disasters to holidays and popular
music and now, superheroes," the study said.
The study used 'McAfee Site Advisor' site ratings,
which indicate which sites are risky to search for
celebrity names on the Web and calculate an
overall risk percentage.'Mr Fantastic' was found
the second most vulnerable superhero with 18.22
per cent of chances of landing on a website
exposed to online threats, such as spyware,
adware, spam, phishing, viruses and other
malware. The Hulk (17.30 per cent), Wonder
Woman (16.77 per cent) and Daredevil (16.70 per
cent) are among the top five superheroes leading
to infected content online.
On steps to protect from online threats, McAfee
said that free downloads are significantly the
highest virus-prone search terms. "Anyone
searching for videos or files to download should
be careful as not to unleash malware on their
computer," it said. Security technology company
McAfee is a wholly-owned subsidiary of world's
largest computer chip maker Intel Corporation.