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Kaspersky introduces secure QR scanner

Zafirah Salim | Feb. 9, 2015
This new app not only reads information from QR codes, but also warns users about potentially dangerous links within them.


Users will receive a warning notification should the app detect a malicious QR code.

Kaspersky Lab launched last week a new mobile application - called Kaspersky QR Scanner - that not only reads information from QR codes, but also warns users about potentially dangerous links within them.

A QR code is a tool for sending links to a mobile device, from either computer screens or printed pages. The code can also be used as a method of deception by cybercriminals, who encrypt a phishing link in a QR code. This malicious code can be replaced with a legitimate picture online, as well as over genuine codes on physical posters and notices. 

The new Kaspersky QR Scanner, which is downloadable on both iOS and Android devices, uses a 'scan-check-open' approach. As soon as the square shape of a QR code becomes visible to the device's camera, the app responds by checking the information encoded in the QR code. If the code is valid, the scanner will open the page. If not, the app will send the user a warning notification.

Besides website addresses, the scanner detects text messages encrypted in QR codes as well as contact information. The Android version can also quickly accept Wi-Fi settings and connect the device to the network.

"All communication channels via which the fraudsters can transfer harmful information to devices need to be protected," said Alexey Chikov, Senior Product Manager, Kaspersky Lab. "Today, they are hiding links in QR codes, so we need a secure scanner. Tomorrow, if they learn to send links via the radio or attach a punch card reader to telephones, we will have to protect them as well. The main thing is that Kaspersky Lab technology can detect the risk and effectively protect users."

 

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