‘Sydney Sweeney leak’ searches filled with malware, spam

Sydney Sweeney is going viral — and it’s not just because people can’t stop talking about her appearance on “Saturday Night Live.”

Users on X can’t stop searching for “leaked” lewd photos of the actress, and they’re being met with a flood of spam and possible malware.

“if you’re catching obvious malware because you were looking for sydney sweeney’s boobs on twitter you’re beyond help,” wrote Samantha Cole, who reported about the scam results for 404 Media.

Another user quipped: “I don’t know who needs to hear this, but if you were looking for scandalous pictures of Sydney Sweeney on Twitter, you’re in for a lot of malware… I, uh, heard.”

In addition to becoming a vehicle for spammers, Sydney Sweeney’s appearance became outsized fodder in the political discourse following her “SNL” hosting gig. Will Heath/NBC via Getty Images

Searches for the trending topic on Monday afternoon turned up sites with links with malicious popup adware that hijacks browsers and floods them with popups.

The content trended in violation of X’s rules and policies after Sweeney, 26, hosted the NBC sketch comedy show on March 2.

The “Euphoria” actress’ physical appearance on “SNL” — during which she portrayed a Hooters waitress and donned a tight dress that showed off her cleavage — had also sparked flattering essays in conservative outlets like Canada’s The National Post and the US version of The Spectator.

As think-piece writers editorialized that her bosom was a weapon against “woke culture,” a former Democratic congressman even shared — then deleted — a meme that suggested President Joe Biden was ogling her as he prepared to deliver the State of the Union address last week.

The malware associated with the trending topic — which itself betrays users’ desire for pictures that would violate Sweeney’s privacy — came just weeks after a fake sexually explicit video of podcast host Bobbi Althoff trended on the site, according to NBC News, and on the heels of deepfake nude images of pop star Taylor Swift going viral on X.

“Sydney Sweeney Leak” malware abounded on X following her “SNL” hosting appearance earlier this month.
Sweeney attends the Vanity Fair Oscars party following the 96th Academy Awards on Sunday. AFP via Getty Images

404 Media claimed that the spam content is thriving on X because of how “under-moderated the platform” is under Elon Musk.

The platform, formally known as Twitter, has grappled with a proliferation of hate speech, misinformation, spam and as a result, lost advertisers since the mega-billionaire bought the platform in 2022 with the intent to make it a “free speech bastion.”

Musk subsequently released troves of documents that showed how it had historically censored media outlets like The Post when it was called Twitter.

An inquiry to X’s press email was answered with a automated response saying “Busy now, please check back later,” which was a step up in decorum from last year, where all media responses to the company were met with a poop emoji.

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