Superman has been named the world’s riskiest superhero when it comes to spreading malware online, according to new research released today by McAfee, part of Intel Security.
As Marvel’s latest film Guardians of the Galaxy hits Australian cinemas, excitement and buzz around superheroes has been ignited once more, spurred on by new announcements around the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice film starring Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill.
Consequently, cyber criminals are set to capitalise on this popularity by loading websites with dangerous spyware, adware, spam, phishing and viruses amongst other malware.
To compile the ‘Most Toxic Superheroes’ list, McAfee researchers used McAfee SiteAdvisor site ratings to determine which sites are risky to search for superhero names when coupled especially with videos, torrents and apps.
The study determined that searches for “Superman”, “Superman and free torrent download”, “Superman and watch”, “Superman and free app”, and “Superman and online” offered the biggest risk to consumers.
Following the Man of Steel in second place in the list was Thor, most noticeably made famous by Aussie actor Chris Hemsworth, and tied in joint third place was Wonder Woman (who will star in the Batman v Superman film) and Aquaman, who has also been widely rumoured to appear in the same film.
X-Men’s Wolverine, played by fellow Aussie Hugh Jackman in seven films to date, was in fourth place, with the top five riskiest superheroes rounded out by Spiderman, most recently played by Andrew Garfield in Sony’s rebooted franchise.
The McAfee ‘Most Toxic Superheroes’ list:
3. Wonder Woman + Aquaman (tie)
7. Black Widow
8. Captain America
9. Green Lantern
10. Ghost Rider
The rating relates to the likelihood of landing on a website that has tested positive for online threats such as spyware, adware, spam, phishing, viruses or other malware.
Tips to Stay Protected
To avoid the risk of your computer becoming infected, McAfee has offered the following tips to help protect fans during their searches:
• Be suspicious: If a search turns up a link to free content or too‐good‐to‐be‐true offers, be wary.
• Double‐check the web address: Look for misspellings or other clues that the site you are going to may not be legitimate or safe.
• Search safely: Use McAfee SiteAdvisor, a free download that displays a red, yellow, or green ratings in search results, alerting you to potential risky sites before you click.
• Protect yourself: Use comprehensive security software on all your devices to protect yourself against the latest threats.