QR Codes and Microsoft Tags: bar codes for the continuing millennia or viral marketing media spreading like wildfire?
Either way they are popping up everywhere on the back of products in supermarkets and pharmacies, movie posters, ads on buses and in magazines.
The basic concept is using an app that piggybacks on your smartphone camera you can rapidly capture and use the data inside the QR Code or MS Tag.
I’m not going to get into arguments about which is better, supported by more phones etc. both work and are easy to implement.
The fact is that this technology of encoding data in graphics is both a really neat tool and potentially an easily exploitable method of getting malicious code onto someone’s mobile device.
At present I have found no security application that scans Tags or QR Codes prior to any device decoding the embedded data. At the simplest level it could be a URL leading to a malicious site and I’m not going to speculate at the worst.
Your mobile device decodes these on the fly and in the case of MS Tag Reader you are connected to the internet to do this.
Recently I have been doing some testing related to these and whilst working on a novel it occurred to me this could be a great plot device either using Tags/ QR Codes this way or else as simple steganography .. how I use it in the novel you are just going to have to wait and see. My writing occurs in fits and starts as inspiration hits me 🙂
This “tags” on nicely to my earlier piece on Smartphone security anyhow, what do you think about Microsoft Tags and QR Codes; have you used them yet?