Full report by researchers: MobileIron Research Reveals QR Codes Pose Significant Security Risks to Enterprises and End Users | Mobileiron.comThe use of QR codes has risen during the pandemic as they offer a perfect solution to contactless interaction. But many employees are also using their mobile devices to scan QR codes for personal use, putting themselves and enterprise resources at risk.
A new study from security platform MobileIron shows that 84 percent of people have scanned a QR code before, with 32 percent having done so in the past week and 26 percent in the past month. In the last six months, 38 percent of respondents say they have scanned a QR code at a restaurant, bar or café, 37 percent at a retailer and 32 percent on a consumer product. It's clear that codes are popular and 53 percent of respondents want to see them used more broadly in the future. 43 percent plan to use a QR code as a payment method in the near future and 40 percent of people would be willing to vote using a QR code received in the mail, if it was an option.
However, QR codes are a tempting attack route for hackers too as the mobile user interface prompts users to take immediate actions, while limiting the amount of information available before, for example, visiting a website.
"Hackers are launching attacks across mobile threat vectors, including emails, text and SMS messages, instant messages, social media and other modes of communication," says Alex Mosher, global vice president of solutions at MobileIron. "I expect we'll soon see an onslaught of attacks via QR codes. A hacker could easily embed a malicious URL containing custom malware into a QR code, which could then exfiltrate data from a mobile device when scanned. Or, the hacker could embed a malicious URL into a QR code that directs to a phishing site and encourages users to divulge their credentials, which the hacker could then steal and use to infiltrate a company."