It sucks, but malicious apps are beginning to be a common occurrence on Android phones. Studies have shown that malware-ridden Android apps have been on a meteoric rise throughout the year. A new report says the havoc is spreading; many of us know better than to click on a link from an untrusted source, but scammers have started working around that by offering scannable QR codes that link directly to malware.
You don’t have to worry so much about the QR codes you find in magazines and television commercials; the malevolent codes are located squarely on the Internet. When people are looking for new apps for their phones, they often use their desktop computers to search the Web for what they’re looking for. Rather than forcing users to hen-peck the URL into their smartphone’s browser, many sites now include a QR code linking directly to the app to make things easier all around.
Scammers have begun redirecting QR codes away from the given URL and pointing them towards malware, Kapersky reports. The security firm says it has already found the poisoned codes in the wild; the variants it’s found install programs that send text messages to premium numbers at rates of up to $6 a pop. Once again, be careful who you trust, what you click, and apparently, which QR codes you snap on the Web, folks.