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McAfee Warning: Be careful when looking for Ronaldo on the Web!

FY Teng | June 5, 2014
Security firm says that cybercriminals are most likely to use the Portuguese football player to lure visitors to Web pages designed to infect their machines with malware. Other players have also been named.

Intel subsidiary devoted to information security McAfee has issued a warning ahead of the FIFA World Cup football tournament (June 12-July 13, 2014, Brazil): Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo is the "riskiest online search for footballers." McAfee put out a statement to the press today (Thursday, June 5, 2014) listing the 11 players-on an index called the McAfee 'Red Card Club'-whose web pages it deemed to be riskiest for fans to search for online.

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

Using data from its research, McAfee scored the major players bound for Brazil later this month "in terms of greatest percent chance of Web page risk" and then ranked them. The holders of the top 11 positions on the McAfee "Red Card Club" and their risk percentages below.

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%

Play Safe, Beware of 'Exclusives'
McAfee also offered some tips on how best to protect against malware during the World Cup. They include the following.

* "Beware of content that prompts you to download anything before providing you the content. Opt to watch streaming videos or download content from official websites of content providers." Adding to that was Freer who said: "Be especially wary of videos promising to show your idol's skills as you might get more than you bargain for."

* "Free downloads are the highest virus-prone search term. Anyone searching for videos or files to download should be careful not to unleash malware on their computer."

* "Established news sites may not entice you with exclusives for one solid reason: there usually aren't any. Stick to official news sites that you trust for breaking news...[But still] make sure to use a safe search tool that will notify you of risky sites or links before you visit them." As part of this campaign, McAfee is offering a complimentary version of its SiteAdvisor software online.

* "Don't download videos from suspect sites. Most news clips you'd want to see can easily be found on official video sites, and don't require you to download anything. If a website offers an exclusive video for you to download, don't."


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