QR Code virus [Security Alert]

By Sudipto   October 20, 2011

Kaspersky Lab has come by an incident that took place in Russia related to QR Code virus. QR code is a two dimensional bar code which was earlier designed for the Automobile industry. The QR code is similar to a bar code that converts the data into pictorial form which can be easily scanned by code scanners.  These days QR Code is gaining popularity these days due to the enormous increase of the smartphone users.  The smartphone users can now take a snapshot of the QR Code instead of retyping trying the data. This is widely used by marketing companies who are putting QR codes instead of the URL which can be easily scanned by a smartphone.

How hackers are using it for their benefit

Since the content of the QR Code cannot be read by just looking at it, hackers are installing infected QR Codes ( contains links that are have Trojans or virus). They when someone visits those links using a QR Code scanner, a program or mobile app gets download and installed on your phone. The that took place in Russia was that the installed infected mobile app was sending SMS to premium numbers. Thus adding to a huge bill which you won’t come to know before you receive your mobile bill.

What you can do to protect your phone from this kind of virus

All you need to do is think a bit before scanning a QR Code. Only scan codes of trusted vendors or agencies. If the URL scanned is installing a mobile which it shouldn’t then please cancel the download and if the app got already installed then uninstall it as soon as possible. Do not just rely on mobile antivirus as they are not capable of detecting QR code virus as these virus are too new even for an antivirus to flag them as a virus.

 

Sudipto
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