QR codes are extremely common today, enough that the attackers are discovering ways to use them for profit.Quick Response (QR) codes are two-dimensional barcodes used to permitthe users to access data or web-based resources (URLs).
While the technology might have originally been unnoticed by the West, QR codes become more commonly used in 2020 because of the Covid-19 outbreak.Businesses, governments and other administrations turned to the technology as a way to track social movements.Governments in US, Europe, and Asia also used QR codes as part of the coronavirus track-and-trace systems.
QR Code Security Issues
1– First, hackers can inject your phone with malware. This direct approach needs nothing more than an unsuspicious employee or consumer to scan a QR code out of interest leading to an infected site. Just by visiting an infected site can activate a malicious download. One instance of how they can deliver this attack method is by sending the QR code in an email that seems to be genuine and hence attracting the user to scan it.
2– Second, the attacker leads you to a phishing website to steal your credentials or to achieve access to your private info on your mobile device. Phishing sites can be difficult to detect. They use a related-looking Universal Resource Locator (URL) to a confidential site. Another approach is by changing the domain extension. For instance, they change the “.org” to “.com.” Other times, there is a small change in the spelling of an URL that so hard to differentiate that it tricks the user. When the user visits the phishing website, username/login credentials are demanded. After the attacker has your log in, they can access your accounts, see private information, make changes and cause irreversible loss to your company name.
3– Third, cybercriminals can print-out free encoding tools on the internet to make the QR codes. They print the QR code on adhesive paper and place it over a valid QR code, or they can mail a malicious QR code to an unsuspecting customer.
4– Fourth, there’s always the danger that an attacker finds a bug in a code reader application that could end in the exploitation of cameras or sensors in phones or other devices.
Solutions toavoid QR Code scams:
Users have numerous ways to reduce the risk of QR code scams and security issues.
1– If anyone seems to send a QR code, connect with the supposed sender and enquire if they sent it.
2– Watch for URL-shortened links appearing after scanning the QR code, which could hide malicious URLs.
3– Organizations: Position a mobile defense solution that blocks the phishing attempts, exploits, phone takeover and unlawful downloads.
4– Embrace multifactor verification in place of password access to the applications and cloud resources.
It is very important nowadays to cover all your bases when it is about mobile data security. Defending against pervasive and rising malicious QR codes must be on top of that list.
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