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'Tis The Season! Beware Of Malicious QR Codes

Updated: Nov 3, 2021

Over a Trillion dollars will be spent in the United States over the holidays with nearly 47% of these sales occurring online. While we are still recovering from the pandemic, businesses have spent most of the year preparing for holiday shopping, which also means something else - a much greater risk for getting hacked!

While organizations are busy running promotions, hackers are like kids in a candy store throughout the festive season with all that credit card information flowing into the deep, dark web each and every second, which is accessible on countless websites. Below is a new method being used by hackers along with some statistics you will find alarming and need to know, so you can be prepared.

Lately restaurants and several other businesses are offering their menus, sales discounts or facility instructions through scanning QR Codes. Hackers are now replacing or modifying the QR Codes so that software can be installed on your smartphone that will allow remote access or installation of ransomware. In most cases, you can request an actual menu or instructions instead of scanning the QR Code.

There is an attempted hacker attack every 39 seconds. In the two to three minutes, it takes you to read this article, six businesses have been hacked! 62% of businesses experienced phishing and attacks in 2020. Phishing can also stem from oblivious employees that can create an opening for a hacker. All these need to be considered to ensure we remain protected. 43% of cyber-attacks target small business. More than half of hackers focus on small to medium sized businesses knowing that many haven’t allocated appropriate resources to cyber security or haven’t prioritized it as a real threat through their inception and growth.

In today’s world it is not a matter of if you will be hacked, it is a matter of when. Taking the appropriate security measures including training, preparing and practicing security breach protocols are a need-to-have, not nice-to-have, especially over the holidays when ecommerce sales are expected to rise.

Thank you for your continued support as we work together to improve our cybersecurity posture. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at .

-Brian Banks, Internal Information Security Officer



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