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QR Codes Offer Easy Cyberattack Avenues as Usage Spikes
Quote:The use of mobile quick-response (QR) codes in daily life, for both work and personal use, continues to rise – and yet, most people aren’t aware that these handy mobile shortcuts can open them up to savvy cyberattacks.
That’s according to Ivanti, which carried out a survey of 4,157 consumers across China, France, Germany, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S. It found that 57 percent of respondents have increased their QR code usage since mid-March 2020, mainly because of the need for touchless transactions in the wake of COVID-19. In all, three-quarters of respondents (77 percent) said they have scanned a QR code before, with 43 percent having scanned a QR code in the past week.
QR codes are the square, scannable codes familiar from applications like touchless menus at restaurants. To use them, people simply open their camera app on their phones and hover over the image. A QR translator built into most mobile phone operating systems will then “read” the QR code and open a corresponding website.
The uses for QR codes are rapidly expanding, Ivanti noted.
“Early in the pandemic, restaurants were using QR codes as menus or payment options, but as the pandemic continued throughout 2020, consumers used QR codes more frequently for practical things like visiting a doctor’s office or picking up a prescription,” according to Ivanti’s report, issued on Wednesday. “Meanwhile, social activities like dining out or enjoying a drink at a bar saw QR code usage decrease in that six-month period. Even offices and places of work saw an increase in usage going from 11 percent to 14 percent, emphasizing the shift in how QR codes have been used during the pandemic.”
Meanwhile, a full 83 percent of respondents in Ivanti’s report said they had used a QR code for the very first time in the last 12 months to make a payment or complete a financial transaction. Of those, more than half (54 percent) had used a QR code for a financial reason for the first time in the past three months alone.

Read more: QR Codes Offer Easy Cyberattack Avenues as Usage Spikes | Threatpost
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