Chris Gayle

Cyber criminals constantly leverage famous personalities such as Chris Gayle and very cleverly time their attacks to coincide with popular events in luring people to websites with malicious software © IANS

Mumbai: May 27, 2013

After scoring the fastest ton in the Indian Premier League (IPL) this season, West Indian cricketer Chris Gayle has become “India’s most dangerous cricketer” with cyber crooks using his name to lure netizens to malicious websites, according to security software maker McAfee.

Gayle topped McAfee’s list as “India’s most dangerous cricketer”, followed by Brett Lee and S Sreesanth.

The list rated cricketers on their risk quotient in the Indian cyberspace.

Gayle hit the fastest 100 for his team Royal Challengers Bangalore during a tie against Pune Warriors India in April, 2013.

He remained at the crease scoring 175 in 66 balls.

“Cyber criminals constantly leverage famous personalities and very cleverly time their attacks to coincide with popular events in luring people to websites with malicious software.

In the context of the ongoing cricketing leagues, cyber crooks are leveraging famous cricketers for their nefarious gains,” McAfee India Centre Vice President of Engineering (CMSB) Venkatasubrahmanyam Krishnapur told PTI.

During such events, eager cricket crazy fans are highly motivated to search for photos, videos, score and stories of their favourite cricketers online.

“In that moment of weakness, they are lured into clicking malicious links that put them at considerable risk,” he said.

The study calculated the overall risk percentage based on the number of infected search results found.

While 32 infected search results were found for Gayle, 31 and 30 such links were found for Lee and Sreesanth, respectively.

Other cricketers with high risk scores include Yuvraj Singh, David Miller, Dale Steyn, Kevin Pietersen, Kieron Pollard, Mitchell Johnson, Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar, according to the study.

“Cyber criminals follow the latest trends of using the names of popular celebrities to lure people to malicious sites designed to steal passwords and personal information,” Krishnapur said.

Fans use names of cricketers combined with words like ‘free downloads’, ‘hot pictures’, ‘wallpapers’, and ‘videos’ on search engines, putting themselves at the risk of running into malicious sites, he added.

Krishnapur said Internet users should be cautious of content that prompts them to download anything before providing the content.

“Free downloads are significantly the highest virus-prone search terms. Anyone searching for videos or files to download should be careful as not to unleash malware on their computer,” he said.