“Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.” – Napoleaon Bonaparte
The bad guys do their homework. They don’t just go willy-nilly infecting any old website. Oh no, they constantly research the most common searches, at any given time, and then infect those websites. More bang for the buck, as they say.
Special events, like the Olympics, holidays, popular current events, and celebrities are all fair game in the quest to make your computing/internet life miserable.
Whether or not you knew it, and based on all the crapware and viruses I find on your machines, you didn’t know it, several cybersecurity organizations keep tabs on such things. I receive a quarterly report from an outfit who values their anonymity, and thus shall remain unnamed here. This particular report outlines the top, most infected, everyday things that people type into their search engine, then end up on an infected site, either via redirect, or lack of tech acumen. (A very common, mistake is to click on the first/top result from your search engine.) Surprisingly, or not, the top 5 items are always the same. They may get jumbled around during the reporting period, but they’re always in the top five. And, without further ado, here they are (in no particular order):
- music lyrics
- bible verses
I can sense many of you nodding in agreement about the evil porn and music lyrics things, but recipes, coupons, and <gasp> bible verses? I have a theory on that, so remind me later.
Blue Coat Security, a company that cares little about anonymity, published a list of most infected search topics during the 2013 Christmas season. Again, in no particular order.
- crafts for Christmas
- Christmas needlepoint designs
- repurpose old Christmas cards.(?)
- free printable Christmas word scramble
- ideas for Christmas gifts in mason jars (really)
- weight loss after Christmas
Don’t forget to remind me about that theory of mine.
McAfee, a company that should choose anonymity considering the shenanigans of their founder, recently published their annual list of most infected celebrity searches for 2014. (The list was made public on October 1st, so I suppose either the celebs atop the list either have a lock, or McAfee just figures that Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas will provide enough entertainment for the cybercrooks and they’ll forget about celebrities until after the new year.)
- Jimmy Kimmel
- Armin van Buuren
- Flo Rida
- Bruce Springsteen
- Blake Sheldon
- Britney Spears
- Jon Bon Jovi
- Chelsea Handler
- Christina Aguillera
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER INSERTED HERE: [The above celebrity links are all to Wikipedia, which may, at times, lack accuracy, but is generally crapware free.]
Now let’s for a moment examine this top 10 of most infected, searched celebs. We have two late night talk show hosts (Kimmel and Handler), a country singer (Sheldon), two admittedly past their prime rock guys (Springsteen and Bon Jovi), two past their prime (although they’d probably not admit it) female pop stars (Spears & Aguillera), two hip-hop artists (Ciara & Flo Rida), and a Dutch DJ famous for spinning electronic dance music tunes (van Buuren).
Before getting to my theory, first I need to provide a definition: