In the wake of the recent Michael Jackson related virus campaign Panda software has released details of the ten most used celebrity names, with Spears at number one, Jackson at six and even Bill Clinton at seven.
"The names of celebrities are frequently used to distribute mails which either contain malware attached to the mail itself (often camouflaged as an image), or which contain a URL where the malware is accessed (as in this case)," the company said on its website.
Trojans in themselves do not generally have the capacity to propagate (as worms do), and so this type of strategy is needed for the message to spread.
The Jackson trial is latest example of canny virus writers cashing in on celebrity or news interest. In July last year SC reported the Hackarmy trojan was spreading on the back of a message claiming to have pictures of a dead Osama Bin Laden.
Top ten celebrities used to spread viruses:
1 Britney Spears
2 Bill Gates
3 Jennifer Lopez
5 Osama Bin Laden
6 Michael Jackson
7 Bill Clinton
8 Anna Kournikova
9 Paris Hilton
10 Pamela Anderson