DANGER: Hackers Deploy QR Code to Scam Victims, Say Experts

Latest cyber-attacks report has revealed that hackers are diversifying attack methods, including a surge in QR code phishing campaigns. By isolating threats on PCs that have evaded detection tools.


The report showed specific insight into the latest techniques being used by cybercriminals in the fast-changing cybercrime landscape.

From February 2022, Microsoft began blocking macros in Office files by default, making it harder for attackers to run malicious code. And attackers have been diversifying their techniques to find new ways to breach devices and steal data.

Based on data from millions of endpoints, the research found:
Scams trick users into scanning QR codes from their PCs using their mobile devices-potentially to take advantage of weaker phishing protection and detection on such devices. QR codes direct users to malicious websites asking for credit and debit card details. Examples in Q4 included phishing campaigns masquerading as parcel delivery companies seeking payment.

Recent attacks use embedded images that link to encrypted malicious ZIP files, bypassing web gateway scanners. The PDF instructions contain a password that the user is tricked into entering to unpack a ZIP file, deploying QakBot or IcedID malware to gain unauthorized access to systems, which are used as beachheads to deploy ransomware.

The report from HP, also said 42% of malware was delivered inside archive files like ZIP, RAR, and IMG: The popularity of archives has risen 20% since Q1 2022, as threat actors switch to scripts to run their payloads. This is compared to 38% of malware delivered through Office files such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

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