QR code abuse on the rise or quishing as a new threat in cyberspace
QR codes, tools used for easy payments and quick access to information, have become the target of a new form of cyber fraud. This variant of phishing has been dubbed “quishing” and is characterised by the misuse of QR codes to attack users. The quishing trend has seen a rapid increase of 578 percent, indicating that cybercriminals are actively exploiting the popularity of QR codes among people to achieve their malicious goals.
Peter Kadrmas, security expert at Check Point, points out how QR codes, seemingly harmless, can easily be misused to create links leading to malicious websites. The creation of a QR code is not complicated and therefore becomes an ideal means for cybercriminals to hide their malicious intentions. Kadrmas warns that QR codes often hide links that can redirect users to sites that target login credentials or other sensitive information for theft.
One example of quishing is the misuse of the Microsoft brand. Cybercriminals send fake messages claiming that Microsoft’s multi-factor authentication has expired and users need to re-verify their credentials. Although the message appears to come from Microsoft’s security department, the sender’s address is different. Once the user scans the QR code, they are redirected to a fraudulent page that mimics the look and feel of Microsoft’s site and is used to obtain sensitive information. Quishing presents another challenge for users in cyberspace, where new methods of cyber attacks are constantly being developed. With the growing popularity of QR codes, users need to be cautious when using them and consider the potential risks associated with this trend. Security experts advise not only caution when scanning QR codes, but also to be more cautious when opening unknown links.
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