HACKERS are increasingly using QR codes to steal people’s data, according to a new report.
The report found that phones and computers being more cybersecure than ever has forced hackers to ‘think outside the box’.
Cybercriminals diversifying their attack methods has prompted a surge in QR code phishing campaigns, HP Wolf Security discovered.
Microsoft began blocking macro viruses in Office files by default in February of last year, making it harder for attackers to run malicious code.
Social engineering tactics, such as the ‘parent/child’ or ‘grandparent/grandchild’ scams, are also becoming less effective as tech users grow more digitally savvy, according to HP.
So, a new goal for some fraudsters is to use QR to snatch data from users.
Since October 2022, HP has seen QR code “scan scam” campaigns emerge almost daily.
These schemes trick people browsing the web into scanning QR codes from their PCs using their mobile devices.
Attacks typically rely on users clicking on ads they see online, which lead to malicious sites that look almost identical to the real ones.
The QR codes then direct victims to malicious websites asking for credit and debit card details.
One example of this happening involves a cyber criminal impersonating a parcel delivery company seeking payment.
Experts at HP suspect this is to take advantage of weaker phishing protection and detection on such devices.
“When one door closes another opens,” explains Alex Holland, a senior malware analyst in HP’s threat research team.
“Users should look out for emails and websites that ask to scan QR codes and give up sensitive data, and PDF files linking to password-protected archives.”
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