F.T.C warns about QR codes which may hide risky links

F.T.C warns about QR codes

F.T.C warns about QR codes which may hide risky links

The Federal Trade Commission (F.T.C) warns about QR codes which may hide risky links and asks users to be skeptical about it. FTC advised the public not to scan any old QR code in a consumer alerts blog this week.

The main concern is security and privacy. Cybercriminals can hide QR codes in unnoticeable places or transmit them by text message or email. Then they wait to cash in on money, login credentials, or other private data.

According to the New York Times report, John Fokker discovered the business comprised more than “60,000 samples of QR code attacks” in just the third quarter of this year. John is the head of threat intelligence at cybersecurity company Trellix.

The Times reported payroll and HR fraudulent individuals as well as postal frauds were the most common types of scams among other things. Police in several Texas cities discovered fraudulent QR codes on parking meters that led users to a fake payment website.

The Federal Trade Commission advises to avoid responding to spam emails or other messages that seem urgent to prevent falling prey to malicious code. It’s a good idea to confirm that the URL that appears on your screen while scanning is one you can trust.

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But, even a genuine QR code may display a hidden and useless shortened web address. So it’s preferable to go straight to the website if you know what it is you want to view.

The Commission also advises sticking with the tried-and-true methods. It will keep your devices up to date, create strong passwords, and set up multi-factor authentication for sensitive accounts.

In a related blog post from September, the FBI also included a list of recommendations. It suggests you shouldn’t scan a code if you are unsure about it.

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