Feeds

That square QR barcode on the poster? Check it's not a sticker

Crooks slap on duff codes leading to evil sites

The essential guide to IT transformation

Cybercrooks are putting up stickers featuring URLs embedded in Quick Response codes (QR codes) as a trick designed to drive traffic to dodgy sites.

QR codes are two-dimensional matrix barcode that can be scanned by smartphones that link users directly to a website without having to type in its address. By using QR codes (rather than links) as a jump-off point to dodgy sites, cybercrooks can disguise the ultimate destination of links.

Security watchers have already seen spam messages pointing to URLs that use embedded QR codes. Now crooks have gone one step further by printing out labels and leaving them in well trafficked locations.

Warren Sealey, director enterprise learning and knowledge management, Symantec Hosted Services explained: "we've seen criminals using bad QR codes in busy places putting them on stickers and putting them over genuine ones in airports and city centres."

Sealey, made his comments at the Ovum Banking Technology Forum 2012 in London on Wednesday.

Sian John, UK security strategist at Symantec, said: “There has been an explosion in the number of QR codes over the last couple of years, and cybercriminals are taking full advantage. Because QR codes just look like pictures it’s extremely difficult to tell if they’re genuine or malicious, making it easy to dupe passers-by into scanning codes that may lead to an infected site, or perhaps a phishing site.

"If users want to make sure that their mobile is protected they should consider a QR reader that can check a website’s reputation before visiting it,” she added. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?