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Cristiano Ronaldo has topped McAfee's list of players whose names are most likely to be exploited by cybercriminals

McAfee's latest research has shown that Portugal and Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo is the footballer that cybercriminals are most likely to use to lure visitors to malware infected sites.

The McAfee "Red Card Club" lists the top 11 players who will be heading to the World Cup and whose names are considered the riskiest search terms amongst footballers.

Argentina's Lionel Messi, Spain's Iker Cassilas, Brazil's Neymar and Algeria's Karim Ziani are the next four names on the list.

According to McAfee, cybercriminals exploit the interest in the world's biggest sporting event to lure people to malware-rigged websites, that may contain malicious codes that can infect user's computers and steal personal information like passwords.

The research was done using McAfee SiteAdvisor site ratings to determine the riskiest searches when paired with football names.

"According to the research, fans run the greatest risk when visiting sites offering screensaver downloads and videos showcasing the extraordinary skills of the players," read the press release from McAfee. "Searching for the latest Cristiano Ronaldo content yields more than a 3.7% chance of landing on a website that has tested positive for online threats, such as spyware, adware, spam, phishing, viruses and other malware."


“Red Card Club” Rank

Player

Country

Risk %

1

Cristiano Ronaldo

Portugal

3.76%

2

Lionel Messi

Argentina

3.72%

3

Iker Casillas

Spain

3.34%

4

Neymar

Brazil

3.14%

5

Karim Ziani

Algeria

3.00%

6

Karim Benzema

France

2.97%

7

Paulinho

Brazil

2.81%

8

Edinson Cavani

Uruguay

2.67%

9

Fernando Torres

Spain

2.65%

10

Eden Hazard

Belgium

2.50%

11

Gerard Pique

Spain

2.45%


“We want to caution consumers through the McAfee “Red Card Club” to not to let their guard down as they join in all the excitement surrounding the World Cup online," said David Freer, Vice President, Consumer – APAC at McAfee, part of Intel Security.

"Be especially wary of videos promising to show your idol’s skills as you might get more than you bargain for. Cyber criminals will definitely try to capitalise on ‘World Cup fever’, so it’s wise not to be complacent by downloading content that might put you at risk.”

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