Published August 13, 2012
Kristen Stewart and boyfriend Rob Pattinson may not be the only ones suffering in the wake of the news that she had an affair with (married) "Snow White and the Huntsman" director Rupert Sanders.
Your computer could be suffering too.
In 2010, the mania surrounding "Twilight: Eclipse" brought about a serious spike in contaminated search results related to the movie and its cast, with Internet security leaders Norton reporting that some common searches returned more than 50 percent malicious results.
Today, the wave of Kristen Stewart and Rob Pattinson-centered search terms in the wake of her infidelity revelation, has unleashed a similar wave of cyber shenanigans. Researcher Daniel Peck of the anti-virus company Barracuda found that 20-25 percent of Stewart-related online content has some sort of malicious material attached.
"Spammers and malware creators are always looking for some current trends to lure people using search engines. Both 'Twilight' and 'Snow White' are popular targets," Michael Gregg, COO of Superior Solutions, an ethical hacker for Fortune 500s and trainer for government/military agencies, told FOX411's Pop Tarts column. "These techniques run the gamut from keyword stuffing targeted back links with terms such as 'Kristen Stewart Was Taped.' Regardless of the technique used, the end effect is to push the malicious site up to the first or second page of the search engine."
Furthermore, rogue attackers are constantly coming up with new ways to trick users, generating fake news stories containing scareware to appear in top search results. So if you spot a Stewart scandal-related story that is just too juicy to be true, and you aren't familiar with the source, odds are it is hazardous to your computer's health.
Unfortunately, unlike 2010, when you could usually see the URL to which you were being directed, the current proliferation of microblogging sites like Twitter makes it harder to detect the origin of the links, raising your chance of infection.
"The bigger the risk with celebrity scams is that you will receive tiny URLs links to stories on Twitter and on Facebook ... so they can 'clickjack' you," Gregg said.
Because clickjacking is the name of the game, and whatever stories are popular are the stories clickjackers focus their efforts on.
"Criminals follow an editorial calendar. If its Christmas time, words they use will involve shopping. If there is a natural disaster like the tsunami or tornado or hurricane or a big celebrity scandal, they will follow up with scams with that. 'Twilight' is a big deal, the franchise being one of the hottest things in the market, and the scandal associated with it," explained McAfee Online Security Expert, Robert Siciliano. "There are (also) more smartphones than ever, and criminals know this, and are gearing towards this (type of crime) more than before."
So how can you, a person who likes to read online articles about Kristen Stewart and her scandalous affair with Rupert Sanders, and the subsequent ramifications on her relationship with Robert Pattinson, and the 'Twilight' franchise, protect yourself from Internet nastiness?
Dr. John Michener, chief scientist cyber security firm Casaba,, says "it is a good idea to keep a scripting disabled browser available to supplement your normal browser, make sure the browser is up to date as well and that its add-ons are up to date."
Oh Kristen Stewart, what hath thou wrought?
Danielle Jones-Wesley contributed to this report.