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QR codes face clickjacking security issues

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QR codes cyber crimeCybercriminals are adding stickers over genuine quick response codes to redirect traffic to sketchy sites.

QR codes have just started to take off as smartphone and tablet users scan them more frequently, which has meant that those with questionable values have seen this as an opportunity to get their dirty fingers into the mix.

Device users are being cautioned to carefully check to make certain the barcodes are authentic.

The practice of “clickjacking” is on the grow, and nasty individuals are placing stickers with QR codes over the genuine barcodes in order to trick smartphone and tablet users into being directed to a dodgy website instead of the real one linked to the code beneath the sticker. Though some of these stickers are relatively obvious, others are effective disguises that can be noticed only by individuals who are truly paying attention.

Consumers are being asked to use QR codes with care in order to avoid potential problems.

These stickers can be placed on anything from posters to product packaging. The most commonly used strategy is to place these dubious QR codes over top of real ones that have been posted in high traffic locations. Some criminals are even creating their own posters with their quick response barcodes attached to them, to make them appear to be genuine.

According to the Symantec Hosted Services director of enterprise learning and knowledge management, Warren Sealey, “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 centers.” This statement was made by Sealy in London at the Ovum Banking Technology Forum 2012 this week.

A Symantec UK security strategist, Sian John, added to Sealey’s remarks by saying that the number of QR codes has exploded over the last little while, and this has lead cybercriminals to see this as an opportunity of which they can take complete advantage. As it is impossible to tell where a barcode will lead until it is scanned, this has caused a struggle for some device users. App developers are coming up with unique solutions to help to overcome this risk.

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About Julie Campbell: Though her true passion is for writing her own fiction novel and holding fundraisers in support of the fight against cancer (as well as donating her hair to that cause in 2011), Julie has created both a name for herself and a successful business in the writing industry. For more than ten years, she has focused her career on capturing the latest technology news, which now includes a particular interest in QR codes and wearable technology.

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