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Are QR codes the next phishing risk?

Thompson, N. and Lee, K. (2012) Are QR codes the next phishing risk? ACS Information Age, Sep/Oct . pp. 36-37.

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In this increasingly interconnected world, it is second nature for people to communicate, socialise and share information through a huge number of media platforms, often simultaneously. Technology to support this is constantly progressing, with new mechanisms emerging all the time. People are quick to adopt the newest communication mechanisms such as instant messaging services, social networking platforms such as Facebook and photo sharing sites such as Flickr.

As new technologies emerge, they bring with them new risks to users’ privacy and security. Technical security vulnerabilities are often patched incrementally until a stable and relatively secure platform is attained. However, research suggests that human factors are potentially the biggest weakness in an otherwise well-secured system. Users are unpredictable, fallible and more importantly can be misled or persuaded.

A rapidly growing social interaction technology is the use of Quick Response (QR) codes as physical shortcuts to Internet resources. QR codes are matrix barcodes that are traditionally used to identify automotive components. QR codes are touted for their ease of use and convenience and are increasingly being used for marketing and social interaction. This is commonly done by placing a QR code on an advertisement or poster, which when scanned by a person with their mobile phone, directs them to a website.

Item Type: Others
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Information Technology
Publisher: Australian Computer Society
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