Current category:Malware

QR code Spam or malware – a threat?

QR codes are those barcodes readable by your smart phone’s camera. QR is an abbriviation for Quick Response. A QR code can hold a text or a URL. Below is a nice CR code holding an URL for the blog you are currently reading. With the correct QR code reader installed on your smartphone, the QR code should be readable and depending on which QR code software you use a browser with http://blog.spamfighter.com/ should open.

You have probably seen QR codes in newspapers, on shopping baskets, or direct mail coupons or clever places like business cards or t-shirts. The usage of QR codes is very popular in Japan but has not yet reached mainstream in that many countries yet. Our best guess is that QR codes will become more and more popular over time. Being able to hold a URL, you might ask whether QR codes poses a risk since a URL could potentially lead to sites holding malware or spammy content.

Obviously clicking on a link in a spam mail could take you anywhere, for sites selling viagra or even worse downloading malware to your PC, but would the same hold true for a link in a QR code?

The simple answer is yes, that QR code can hold any link. While we have not seen them yet as QR codes increase in popularity, it is only a matter of time, and regarding malware, it is definately a possibility that malware can be downloaded from a QR code. Especially on the Android platform which has seen a lot of malware of late.

So QR code ridden malware might be next… Now it’s a case of not only being careful on what you click, but on where you point your camera too.

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About Kim Falkner

VP Marketing for SPAMfighter with a passion for IT-security and blogging. Follow me on Google+ (+Kim Falkner) or LinkedIn (Kim Falkner on LinkedIn)
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2 Comments

  1. Sabrina says:

    Ugh. Or worse for our tech-savvy and curious kids – x-rated content.

  2. Jannich says:

    When considering that there are guides online, outlining the process of altering an QR code, to point to your custom URL, this will be a very real threat, very soon!

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