There is danger everywhere. Daring cyberattacks using QR codes have become more frequent around the world

There's danger everywhere. Daring cyber attacks using QR codes have become more frequent around the world

December 12, 02:02 Share:

QR codes can pose serious dangers (Photo: Peace-loving/depositphotos)

US Federal Trade Commission ( FTC) has warned the public about the dangers of scanning QR codes due to frequent attacks by scammers.

QR codes, simple barcodes that you can simply point your smartphone at to get the information you need — from links to files — are becoming increasingly popular. They are used to pay for travel on public transport, to pay bills at food establishments. However, they are gaining popularity not only among businesses and ordinary users, but also among criminals.

The FTC says attacks using them are now becoming more common and the attackers' methods are becoming more daring.. In particular, scammers hide malicious links in QR codes to steal personal information. To do this, they use both the replacement of real QR codes in public places with fake ones, and methods of social engineering.

«All the lies they tell you are designed to create a sense of urgency. They want you to scan the QR code and open the URL without thinking about it. A scammer's QR code may take you to a fake website that looks real but isn't.. And if you log into a fake site, scammers can steal any information you enter. Or the QR code could install malicious software that steals your information before you know it,” the FTC warns.

To protect yourself, the commission advises to first check the links received via QR code to make sure that they do not lead to fake sites ( a fraudulent URL may contain misspellings or replaced letters, etc.. d.). They also advise against scanning QR codes received in an unexpected email or text message, and to protect your data by using multi-factor authentication and strong passwords.

The day before, The New York Times reported that cybersecurity company Trellix detected more than 60 thousand attacks using QR codes in the third quarter of this year alone.. There were also high-profile crimes with QR codes. In particular, at the beginning of last year, police in the state of Texas, USA, discovered that fraudsters had massively replaced QR codes for payment placed on parking meters.

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