Quick Response codes, also known as QR codes, are two dimensional barcodes originally invented by the automotive industry to keep track of parts during manufacturing. However, these barcodes can hold any type of information and were quickly adapted to all types of different industries. Most smartphones now have applications that can quickly read and process QR codes. You simply point your camera at the barcode and take a picture.
The QR code generated above contains a link to this domain. While QR codes themselves do not contain malware, imagine a barcode that takes you to a malicious website. One that uses an exploit in your smartphone to install unauthorized applications. The possibilities are endless and as this technology becomes more popular, there becomes greater motivation to find ways to exploit it. John Vezina put it best when he said, “I could, if I wished, print out dozens of QR codes and peel and stick them to bus stops, power line poles, or anywhere the things can stick to.”