Although QR codes are not a novelty, they have started to have a new boom since the beginning of the pandemic. When close contact was not recommended, they represented an excellent way to avoid it, transmitting all kinds of information. However, something is happening right now that we must pay close attention to. It is a type of scam called Qrishing, which bases its action on QR Codes.
In that sense, we can be exposed anywhere to scan a code that actually leads us to a malicious site.
Qrishing and QR Code scam
The term Qrishing derives from Pishing, as the phishing technique for scams on the web is known. In this case, it is an identity theft, but using the useful QR codes as a channel. An example of Pishing is receiving an email identical to the ones your bank would send, but with a slight detail in the address that makes it clear that it is a hoax. This can happen in the same way with QR codes, inserting pages that look the same as the one we want to visit, but with unfriendly purposes.
Impersonate any site and distribute the address through a QR code is only the first step in this matter. That is, with Qrishing, the scam is only established at the gateway with the help of the QR code. What can happen next can range from the theft of your personal and banking data, to the injection of code to execute any action.
What can we do to protect ourselves from Qrishing?
We are facing a variant of Pishing, in that sense, the best advice is to always keep your eyes wide open when scanning a code. The scam through QR codes uses the same techniques, so the saying that says “the devil is in the details” fits.
To protect ourselves from a Qrishing scam, the first tip is to disable sites from opening automatically. Generally, on Android a notification with the address is displayed and the system asks whether to open it. Here, we must be completely attentive to whether the link is indeed the one we want to visit. This is the key to avoid falling victim to a scam through a QR code.
The Qrishing project will continue to advance, considering that it is very easy to carry out and the Qr codes have a wide use. However, it is only a matter of being well attentive to what we open when scanning one.