HomeCyber BalkansSignificant increase in hackers using QR codes for phishing attacks

Significant increase in hackers using QR codes for phishing attacks

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In recent years, phishing has become a major concern in the cybersecurity landscape. It has been a primary method through which threat actors impersonate individuals or brands with a sense of urgency, often resulting in private information being entered on a malicious URL. To combat phishing, preventive measures have been put in place to block any phishing emails inside an organization. However, with the ever-evolving technological landscape, threat actors are constantly equipping themselves with new tools and techniques to evade preventive mechanisms and obtain confidential information from individuals.

One of the latest techniques being used by threat actors is known as Quishing, or QR-based phishing. This method has seen a significant surge in attacks due to the evasion techniques it offers and its high success ratio. QR codes have become increasingly popular in the last few years and are now used in a variety of everyday transactions such as contactless payments, Wi-Fi password scanning, and mobile phone logins. As a result, malicious QR codes have become a potent tool for threat actors to steal confidential information from unsuspecting victims.

When a user receives an email containing a malicious QR code, they may scan it using their mobile phone, unknowingly bypassing the organization’s security measures. This can lead them to a fake website impersonating a well-known platform such as Microsoft or Google, prompting the user to enter their credentials. Due to the low suspicion associated with QR codes, users often enter their credentials without realizing that they are falling victim to a phishing attack, providing threat actors with valid credentials to an organization.

Moreover, researchers have found that C-suite members such as CEOs, CFOs, COOs, and CIOs are highly targeted in Quishing attacks due to the level of privilege and access they possess. Non-C-suite VIPs including executive vice presidents, senior vice presidents, and department heads are also heavily targeted. If threat actors gain access to one of these high-level credentials, they can initiate both internal and external fraudulent requests that could target many employees within an organization.

A report published by Abnormal Security provides detailed information about QR-based phishing attacks, including the attack vector, credential compromise, and the percentage ratio of targets. This underscores the severity and prevalence of QR-based phishing attacks in targeting high-level individuals within organizations.

As the threat landscape continues to evolve, organizations must remain vigilant and educate their employees about the dangers of QR-based phishing. With the right awareness and security measures in place, they can work towards mitigating the risks associated with this sophisticated form of cyber attack.

In conclusion, QR-based phishing has emerged as a potent and highly effective tool for threat actors to target organizations and individuals, emphasizing the need for increased awareness and proactive security measures to combat this growing threat in the cybersecurity domain.

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