Why should we pay attention to QR codes in public places?

Why should we pay attention to QR codes in public places?

A cybersecurity researcher recently warned the public that QR codes are becoming increasingly visible everywhere. Whether these are links to platforms intended for commerce, education or management, vigilance is required.

Beware of “quishing” with QR codes

It consists of black square modules placed in a square with a white background, containing a QR code Information to scan using a smartphone. However, they are basically hypertext links that redirect the user to the internet platform. For example, it could be a government website, an e-commerce site, or even a link to a university platform. In addition, remember that QR codes have been widely integrated by residents during the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

Only, there these codes are displayed everywhere May contain harmful information. In an article dated January 20, 2024, Le Figaro It refers to “quishing”, i.e. embedding a link into a QR code that redirects the user to a phishing page. However, it is often related to the pages that Very similar to the originalsWhich therefore increases the chances of deceiving people.

“It's called mirroring. The software makes it possible to reproduce sites to perfection. If the hacker is bad, the replica's errors are visible, but if it's good, you can't tell the difference. Sometimes a site downloads malware directly onto the machine »explained Frielle Bouakaz, a professor and researcher in the field of cybersecurity at the General Faculty of Digital Engineering (EFREI).

Credits: Pexels

Do not flash anything on the street

During the COVID-19 pandemic, A trust It settled between the population and QR codes, particularly out of habit. However, vigilance has become a necessity today. Friel Bouakaz remembers Anyone can create a QR code With a simple website, without any special knowledge. In other words, this 2D barcode is perfect for cybercriminals, so much so that it is now recommended Don't flash anything With his smartphone.

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How to protect yourself from QR code phishing attacks? One possible way is to find out the names and addresses of companies (or other organizations) on the Internet, although this method is tedious. The best way is to resort to A Portable antivirus software Which provides an anti-phishing agent. This is a regularly updated service capable of blocking internet links that have been detected or reported as fraudulent.

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