October 10, 2011

Mobiles, Barcodes & Malware

A group of Russian techies have started using QR codes to distribute phone-based Malware.

Now that enough people own smart phones, it’s becoming common place for advertisers to use QR codes (those black squares looking like 3D barcodes) on their products. We regularly see them on soft drink bottles and food products. Many QR codes give instructions to your mobile device, usually telling your phone to visit a certain website for more information on the product.

It’s important to realize that scanning a QR code can be the same as clicking a link to a website. You’re sending your mobile to an unknown (potentially dangerous/harmful) website. You really should exercise the same caution when scanning a QR code, as you would clicking a suspicious link in your inbox. Do you trust the person who gave you the QR link? Does the address in the confirm box look like the correct URL? Don’t give out credit card details, don’t give permissions for any apps to run, a little bit of common sense required.

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