Saturday, January 28, 2012

Newest Smartphone Threat QR Code Malware

Security vendor AVG has issued a warning for smartphone users that like to scan Quick Response codes that some of these codes may contain text and URLs with hidden malware.

In its latest report, entitled AVG Community Powered Threat Q4 2011, the company warned that hackers are putting their own malicious stickers over the top of legitimate QR codes. These codes lead unsuspecting users to malicious sites or offer up downloads in the form of malicious malware. Some of the codes install malware which sends costly SMS messages to premium numbers and also redirects to a URL which downloads a malicious file.

In most cases the user does not know what lurks behind the QR code until the malware is already installed and running.

"Putting a malicious QR code sticker onto existing marketing material or replacing a website's bona fide QR code with a malicious one could be enough to trick many unsuspecting people. In Q4 we clearly saw the convergence between computers and mobile phones applies to malware too. As phones become more like computers, so do the risks,” said Yuval Ben-Itzhak, Chief Technology Officer, AVG Technologies. “Many sophisticated tricks of the trade from computers are now being repurposed for phones. However, as phones are often tied into billing systems the gains can be far greater.”

Full Q4 Threat Report: AVG_Community_Powered_Threat_Report_Q4_2011

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