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McAfee: Superstar Soccer Players’ Screensavers and “Skills” Video Downloads are Risky to Search for Online

Features of McAfee's FREE SiteAdvisor

Features of McAfee’s FREE SiteAdvisor

With the 2014 FIFA World Cup coming up just around the corner, excited fans are taking to the Internet to catch up with their favourite soccer players. McAfee expects cybercriminals will be doing the same, albeit with a different goal: to lure fans to websites laden with malware so they can steal passwords and personal information.

McAfee today released the roster to the McAfee Red Card Club, a group of 11 superstar soccer players whose respective web pages present the greatest threat of infecting site visitors with malware. Topping the list are Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Argentina’s Lionel Messi, and Spain’s Iker Cassillas.

Make sure to use a safe search tool that will notify you of risky sites or links before you visit them.


Ronaldo Tops McAfee “Red Card Club” For Riskiest Online Searches For Footballers

McAfee Study Reveals Screensavers and “Skills” Video Downloads as Most Likely to Pose Risk to Fans

MARKHAM, ON, June 4, 2014 – According to research from McAfee, part of Intel Security, cybercriminals are most likely to use Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo to lure visitors to web pages designed to infect them with malware. The McAfee “Red Card Club” showcases the top eleven Brazil-bound players whose web pages are considered to be risky for fans to search for online. Following Ronaldo and Messi are Spain’s Iker Cassillas, Brazil’s Neymar and Algeria’s Karim Ziani.

As is common with other cultural sensations, cybercriminals leverage consumer interest in the world’s most popular sport to lure them to websites rigged with malware, malicious code capable of infecting a user’s machine and stealing passwords and personal information. McAfee researchers have used McAfee® SiteAdvisor® site ratings to determine which sites are risky to search when coupled with footballer names and have calculated an overall risk percentage.

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

Players make the McAfee Red Card Club by scoring among the top 11 positions in terms of greatest chance of web page risk:


Red Card Rank Player Team 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 Piqué Spain 2.45%

“Consider the McAfee Red Card Club as our effort to warn consumers against allowing passion to trump digital hygiene,” said Paula Greves, director of web security research at McAfee. “Cybercriminals can’t resist taking advantage of ‘fever-pitch’ excitement around this summer’s epic matchups in Brazil. The danger is that this anticipation could lead fans to download content from pages they shouldn’t to fulfill their football experience.”

Tips to Stay Protected
To avoid the summertime blues of becoming infected during the Brazil games and beyond, fans can follow a set of basic tips to protect themselves wherever their love of the game may take them:

  • 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.
  • “Free downloads” are the highest virus-prone search term. Anyone searching for videos or files to download should be careful to not 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. However, trusted sites can also fall prey to hackers. Make sure to use a safe search tool that will notify you of risky sites or links before you visit them. A complimentary version of SiteAdvisor software can be downloaded at
  • 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.
  • Don’t “log in” or provide other information. If you receive a message, text or email or visit a third-party website that asks for your information—credit card, email, home address, Facebook login, or other information—for access to an exclusive story, don’t give it out. Such requests are a common tactic for phishing that could lead to identity theft.
  • If you do decide to search for information on a major event or celebrity in the news, make sure your entire household’s devices have protection. McAfee LiveSafe™ protects all devices including PCs, Macs, tablets and smartphone and it also includes malware detection software, McAfee® Mobile Security, to protect your smartphone or tablet from all types of malware.
  • Always use password protection on your phone and other mobile devices. If your phone is lost or stolen, anyone who picks up the device could publish your information online.

To learn more about the latest consumer threats and tips for staying safe online, follow @McAfeeConsumer on Twitter, visit the McAfee Facebook page at and the McAfee Security Advice Center.

About McAfee SiteAdvisor
McAfee SiteAdvisor technology protects users from malicious websites and browser exploits. SiteAdvisor technology tests and rates nearly every trafficked site on the Internet and uses red, yellow and green icons to indicate the website’s risk level.

SiteAdvisor site ratings are created by using patented advanced technology to conduct automated website tests SiteAdvisor software works with Internet Explorer and Firefox.

About McAfee
McAfee, part of Intel Security and a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), empowers businesses, the public sector, and home users to safely experience the benefits of the Internet. The company delivers proactive and proven security solutions and services for systems, networks, and mobile devices around the world. With its Security Connected strategy, innovative approach to hardware-enhanced security, and unique Global Threat Intelligence network, McAfee is relentlessly focused on keeping its customers safe.

McAfee Canada is headquartered in Markham, Ontario, with regional offices across Canada. The company’s Consumer Software Research and Development facility is based in Waterloo, Ontario.

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