It stands to reason that superheroes are rated by their powers. Wolverine can heal from any wound, The Hulk possesses superhuman strength and Spider-Man does, well, spidery things. But while they wage epic battles in comic books and on cinema screens, it turns out our favourite superheroes can inflict a fair amount of damage on your computer, too.
Security software company McAfee have conducted a survey of the most toxic superheroes online, analysing which characters are most likely to guide you to risky websites if searched on the internet.
And the most dangerous online superhero is… Aquaman. Famous for his marine prowess, he brings a 18.6% chance of directing you to a website posing a threat such as spyware, adware, spam, phishing, viruses and other malware.
Runner up is Mr Fantastic whose genius intellect and shape-shifting elasticity play second fiddle to the 18.22% likelihood of his name leading you to a dodgy website, while The Hulk’s rippling green muscles obscure a 17.3% chance of sending your computer into troubled waters.
Online security expert Robert Siciliano offered some reasoning behind the findings, explaining, “With the resurgence of the superheroes into mainstream movies (think Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America to name a few), hackers are leveraging their popularity to target consumers.
“Hackers are most successful when they can attract a large number of victims. One way to target big crowds online is to track current events – everything from celebrity meltdowns and natural disasters to holidays and popular music – and now, superheroes.”
The full list of superheroes with the highest percentage of online risk are…
1. Aquaman (18.6%)
2. Mr. Fantastic (18.22%)
3. The Hulk (17.3%)
4. Wonder Woman (16.77%)
5. Daredevil (16.7%)
6. Iron Man (15.63%)
7. Superman (15.21%)
8. Thor (15.1%)
9. Green Lantern (15%)
10. Cyclops (14.4%)
11. Wolverine (14.27%)
12. Invisible Woman (12.4%)
13. Batman (12.3%)
14. Captain America (11.77%)
15. Spider-Man (11.15%)
The study was compiled using McAfee’s SiteAdvisor site ratings which calculate an overall risk percentage for online sites.