Let’s break down the article step by step for better understanding.
Let’s understand, What is QR Code:
QR means “Quick Response.”
Whereas QR codes may appear simple, but they can intake a huge amount of data. But it doesn’t matter how much they are contained during the time it is scanned, also this code provides information and data and allows any user access to this so quickly, that is why this code’s name is Quick Response Code.
A QR code can be called a barcode that may be readable in an easy way through any digital device and also it keeps the confidential data in a grid that should be square-shaped and also as a series of pixels. QR codes are generally used for the tracking of confidential data related to products in a chain supply system and QR Codes make so many gadgets and cell phones and devices. And there are so many marketing and productive campaigns using this Quick Response Code. In the latest time, they have helped to make it slow spreading of any virus, Also played as a key role to trace corona or any virus exposure
How do scammers use QR Codes to bypass email security?
Cyber Attackers are continuously using phishing scam emails that contain QR codes. And it is made for the log-in systems and credentials, designed in a campaign login details and credentials for Microsoft applications, cloud applications, etc.
Cybercriminals are making new ways to make the user a victim as if he clicks any link to a scammed website that simply appears like the genuine ones, like authentic Microsoft login pages, and by mistake provide their private details like- credentials, credit card details, ATM PIN, etc.
Generally, phishing attacks like scam emails contain a voiceover email from the email owner and yes they request access to scan the QR Code to hear that voice in the email or direct messages and a user hence becomes a victim of the phishing scam. And these QR codes were created at the same time and same day exactly whenever those emails were sent out.
Through hiding an audio or voiceover file, a phishing campaign( previous version of the campaign) attempted a trick for the users to click on a malicious link’s URL or malicious QR Code from an unknown source. Ultimately this seemed suspicious and identified as malicious by antivirus software, which is leading the hackers to switch to using QR codes.
We can easily bypass email security using the QR codes images through antivirus software, and the procedure for the victim before reaching the suspicious website whereby mistake the victims provide their confidential data and information like credit card details, ATM PIN, etc. and yet cyber attackers use this information to hack that particular individual’s private account details. In starting the victim scans the QR Code images first then opens an email on one mobile so it’s necessary for any user to use the second smartphone to complete the procedure of opening and scanning the code.
Examples of such scams:
One latest phishing campaign related to cyber-protection researchers at Abnormal Secure transactions used so many QR codes that are made to bypass email security, they sent thousands of scam emails through phishing pages and attacks and hence they got so many confidential details, data & information. and this was called a “quashing” attack attempted by cybercriminals.
QR codes may be purposeful in such attempts at malicious suspicious activities.
How can we safeguard ourselves from such scams?
Don’t be a scam victim and be careful:
A get-rich-quick scheme is one kind of a unique scheme. Scammers definition can be called like this- the only persons who make money through unknown sources and through scams, phishing pages like- stealing confidential data and details of an individual, etc. some points here are mentioned that you should follow-
- Don’t deposit any money in fraudsters’ accounts, don’t share your credit card information to anyone through an unknown source or your any online account’s confidential details through any screen share, etc.
- Timely check your credential data, wifi connections, your bank account, and also credit card information.
- Report any type of unknowing transactions to your bank and share it with the bank’s manager.
- Just make sure to not share your ATM PIN with anyone like – any unknown individual or any unknown organization or source.
Protect yourself online-
- Always make any payment before searching that particular website’s information whether it’s secure or not.
- Just try to make sure that before going to any malicious QR Code, or any malicious website, to make any transactions, just check that particular malicious website address or domain in the bar, that should be right and should be from any known source, and that should include the correct extension like- .com.,au, etc.
- Don’t click on any links that have come from unknown sources or don’t click on any attached files by opening phishing or spam emails.
- If you are using any social site on social media make sure to keep all the privacy strict settings on the networking area.
- Do not give a response to any SMS or any miss-call that have come from any unknown source whether it’s on Email, Gmail, google meet, or any other source.