“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” ~Arthur C. Clarke

QR Code

This is a QR Code.  If your smart phone has a QR code scanner, and most of them do, you can scan the code and it will take you to the Comp-U-Talk web site.  (FYI: this is a temporary code that will expire  on March 14-I didn’t ante up any cash to make it permanent)

You might be accustomed to scanning QR codes.   Restaurants have adopted interactive menu QR Codes as a substitute for physical menus (https://scanova.io/blog/qr-code-statistics/).  Businesses are integrating QR Codes for streamlined payments.  Just last week, I bought primer paint.  The paint had a rebate and I asked for the rebate form.  I was pointed towards a QR Code on a shelf rack and scanned it.  The rebate was submitted before I left the store.  It was fast and easy, didn’t require a stamp or an envelope and I had immediate response that the rebate was received.

QR Codes are sweet and fast.  They are also the latest tool in the hacker’s arsenal of evil deeds. 

QR Codes are easy to generate via numerous sites on line.  The QR Code above was generated at: https://app.qr-code-generator.com/getstarted.  It took less than 5 minutes from start to finish to create the code, confirm my email address, upload my logo and download the QR Code.  Children can do this! Criminals are doing this to direct your innocent scans to malicious sites. 

SecurityHQ research says there will be a significant increase in QR phishing (AKA: quishing) emails.  While modern email services are actively filtering out the majority of spam emails containing malicious links, they do not have the ability to scan and filter out malicious QR Codes.  (https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/other/why-you-should-think-twice-before-scanning-qr-codes/ar-AA1lXxQb).  It is up to you to verify the site you are about to open is legitimate. And that is going to be hard.  The QR Code above will eventually take you to www.comp-u-talk.com, but when you scan the code it says you will be taken to https://qrco.de/beq1qM.  Creating a QR Code converts the real web address into a short code that will forward the user to the underlying website .  This is the same technology used at bitly and tinyurl.  I wrote a newsletter about shortening long links via bitly and tinyurl.  If you missed it, you can catch it here: https://comp-u-talk.com/check-your-links/

Ethical hacker and magician, Thomas Webb did a Ted Talk demonstrating how easy it was for him to hack all of the cell phones in an auditorium.  He was successful because the audience volunteered to scan his QR Code.  You can watch it here: https://youtu.be/Tp25LmdYlds

Ethical Hacking magic

The video is 19 minutes, fun and educational.

That’s the educational news for this month. 

Until Next Month, Stay Happy, Stay Healthy, Stay Safe.  Invest in some lawn chairs!


Bought Lawn Chairs