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Hacking QR Codes

With any new information sharing technology comes the possibility and danger of hacking. You may ask why would people want to hack QR codes? Well there is no right or wrong answer because some use it to sabotage competitors and others just do it simply because they can. Certain forms of hacking include; Tagging or graffiti alter marketing campaigns, and stealing personal information.

Vandalizing QR codes is a way of altering the code design so that when scanned it can lead to a completely different page, which possibly may contain a virus. Graffiti or tagging is types of vandalism that include replacing the image with usually a gang symbol. Graffiti usually has no effect on the code itself, except for how it is seen by the public eye and maybe some errors when it is scanned.

While vandalized codes can create frustration for the company who created the code and hurt their image and marketing campaign, I am more worried about the last form of hacking I mentioned; identity theft. While the way the economy is today, identity theft is a big fear in Americans that use technology to share personal information. You have to be particularly careful about the code you are scanning and if the code looks authoritative or not.

Blog Post:

Here is a blog post I found and believe it will change the way you see QR codes after reading it. It’s about all the ways marketing with QR codes can go wrong, the flaws that have yet to be corrected and prevented by QR code generating companies.


My response to the blog posting:

I completely agree about the unseen dangers with QR codes. The whole mystery and fascination with them is that you don’t initially know where they go, until you scan the code. Bloggers such as this are the type that will most likely be hacking QR codes, just as a rebuttal and boycott of the technology. I also have to agree with the point made about how QR codes without directions can easily be misunderstood, I mean I personally misunderstand blatant directions all the time, let alone when none are given. This technology is still fairly new in America, and with any new technology comes flaws, The only way to fix flaws is to understand them, have them pointed out, come to a solution, and then alter the codes. As consumers and producers become more familiar with QR codes we will begin to see them adapt with the environment and it’s dangers, just as computers have over the years.