ChannelLife Australia logo
Industry insider news for Australia's technology resellers
Story image

WhatsApp and QR codes the next scam threat - report

By Shannon Williams
Thu 26 May 2022

KnowBe4 has warned it expects to see an increase in QR Codes and the WhatsApp chat platform being used for phishing and other scams. 

“We’ve seen a spike in smishing (phishing via SMS) attacks over the last 12 months with scammers really leveraging fake delivery SMSs, in particular, while we struggled through extended lockdowns last year," says Jacqueline Jayne, security awareness advocate APAC at KnowBe4.

"Now we’re seeing these attacks move onto the WhatsApp platform, so we’re urging everyone to be extra vigilant," she says.

In addition, pandemic lockdowns saw a surge in use of QR codes from checking in to venues to accessing paperless menus. As with most things, once they begin to gain a bit of popularity, criminals move in to see how they can manipulate the situation to their advantage.  

“Recently, we have seen fake QR codes stuck to parking meters enticing unwitting drivers to scan the code, and hand over their payment details believing they were paying for parking, whereas they were actually handing over their payment information to criminals," says Jayne.

“We saw scams in Europe last year (which means they’ll be here soon) where the bad guys were using malicious WhatsApp ads, which offer a $250 coupon for a well-known retailer, in exchange for a short survey. The invite looks like it comes from a friend on WhatsApp,” she says. 

"A similar strain installs a malware on the phone, which looks like a software update, but steals all the contacts, phone numbers and email addresses - and if they can find any, passwords and banking credentials."

Jayne says users of WhatsApp and similar messaging services are more likely to view messages as trustworthy, since they appear to be coming from an acquaintance. 

"Closed-group instant messaging and social media communities don’t suffer from spam in the same way that your email account does, because you can set up your account so that only approved contacts such as friends and family can message you in the first place," she says. 

"That means, however, that you’re more inclined to trust messages and web links that you do receive, because they generally come from someone you know."

Jayne adds, “You should be suspicious of unsolicited or strange messages from contacts, especially if the messages sound urgent or try to get you to click on a link. 

"Never trust messages simply because they come from a friend’s account. Just as importantly, if a weird message from a friend’s account makes you think they’ve been hacked, don’t message them back via the same service to warn them," she says. 

"If you’re right, your real friend will never see the warning, and you will have tipped off the crooks that you are onto them. Contact your friend some other way instead.” 

Staying safe 

If you receive a suspicious message on WhatsApp, follow these steps to stay safe: 

  • Double check the sender. Just because someone claims to be a family member or friend it doesn't mean they are who they say they are.  
  • Consider the request. Is this a common request or one which the person would actually make of you?  
  • Is it urgent? Criminals will use different tactics to create a sense of urgency, such as claiming they need money for a medical procedure, to bail them out, or to travel safely home.  
  • As a general rule of thumb, if a message or phone call is received that asks you to take urgent action, particularly over the computer to send money or gift cards - do not comply. Nothing bad will come from taking a few minutes to contact a trustworthy person directly and double-checking.  

Fortunately, in relation to QR codes, in order for these scams to be successful, criminals have to physically tamper with or place their own QR code, which comes at a risk to them. Also, none of these will automatically trigger an action on a phone, rather it will display a notification as to what the intended action is. So just like email phishing, always be mindful and vigilant whenever payments, credentials or personal details are involved online. 

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
Zscaler, AWS accelerate onramp to the cloud with zero trust
Zscaler has announced an extension to its relationship with Amazon Web Services, as well as innovations built on Zscaler's Zero Trust architecture.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Aqua Security, CIS create software supply chain security guide
Aqua Securityand the Center for Internet Security have together released the industry’s first formal guidelines for software supply chain security.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Threat actors ramp up their social engineering attacks
As people get better at identifying potential threats in their inbox, threat actors must evolve their methods. Their new M.O? Social engineering.
Story image
trust
Consumers want personalisation, but don't trust brands with their data
Customers expect personalisation during every brand interaction but they don't trust brands to keep their personal data secure and to use it responsibly. 
Story image
Manhattan Associates
New late-stage order cancellation to improve customer service
Manhattan Associates launches new service allowing orders to be cancelled up to the point of manifested/loaded status, preventing unwanted shipments and costly returns.
Story image
CRM
Microsoft launches app for modern selling experience
The new release is designed to enhance CRM systems with customer engagement data from Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams.
Story image
Market growth
Salesforce unveils new offerings for consumer goods companies
Salesforce has announced new products for consumer goods companies to help brands navigate increasing market complexity more easily.
Story image
Unified Communications
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from Access4
Access4 are specialists in the unified communications sector, and Peter Eldon joins us today to discuss how UCaaS can play a vital role in business development.
Story image
Cloud
SAS and Greater Bank launches new AML and fraud service
Greater Bank and SAS have joined forces to deliver a new fraud detection and anti-money laundering solution that bolsters the protection of its 270,000 plus customers.
Story image
Cloud
NetApp announces winners of APAC Partner Excellence Awards
These awards recognise partners that have demonstrated success in delivering new cloud experiences, unlocking greater business value for their customers.
Story image
Citrix
The best ways to attract young talent during labour shortages
New research from Citrix reveals hybrid working and ventures into the metaverse are top of mind for Gen Z workers.
Story image
Cloud
QuSecure partners with DataBridge Sites to showcase platform
QuSecure has partnered with DataBridge Sites to showcase its Quantum-as-a-Service (QaaS) orchestration platform, QuProtect.
Story image
Healthcare
Helping Western Sydney Local Health District provide a new model of care in the fight against COVID
Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) and PwC’s Consulting Business came together to solve through the challenges of COVID-19.
Story image
Network Security
Netskope announces zero trust network access updates
Customers can now apply zero trust principles across a range of hybrid work security needs, including SaaS, IaaS, private applications, and endpoint devices.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Cybersecurity priorities for digital leaders navigating digital transformation
In recent years, Asia-Pacific has especially been a hotspot for cyberattacks, and as we continue into 2022, it’s evident that the problem is becoming more significant.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Australia worst in the world for mobile app threats
Australia is the country with the highest percentage of mobile app threats detected, according to new research.
Story image
Mitel
Martello and Mitel renew and extend their partnership
Martello has entered into an Amended Agreement with key partner Mitel, laying out the commercial terms under which it provides the Mitel Performance Analytics (MPA) software for sale to Mitel customers and partners.
Story image
Identity and Access Management
Ping Identity launches corporate venture capital fund
Ping Identity has launched a corporate venture capital fund to foster innovative offerings for the identity security market.
Story image
Cloud
Cloudera harnesses the power of cloud and data management for digital transformation
The data management landscape has changed significantly in recent years, with customer demands shifting and evolving in light of new technology and work processes.
Story image
3D Printing
Fleet Space, Konica Minolta partner for 3D printer offering
Fleet Space has partnered with Konica Minolta to implement 3D printers from 3D Systems to support the commercial small satellite manufacturer’s offerings.
Story image
inDriver
New ride service inDriver arrives in Melbourne - pick your own fares
inDriver has launched in Melbourne, Australia and says it's set to disrupt the ride-hailing industry by allowing passengers and drivers to set and pick their own fares.
Story image
Ransomware
Rapid7 report examines use of double extortion ransomware attacks
New insight into how attackers think when carrying out cyber attacks, along with further analysis of the disclosure layer of double extortion ransomware attacks, has come to light.
Story image
Apple
Jamf updates healthcare IT to protect data on Apple devices
Jamf has rolled out new functionality to help healthcare and IT teams protect patient data and streamline clinical access for their Apple fleet.
Story image
Partnerships
Microsoft expands APAC Enabler Mentorship Program
"Mentors are the key to success for every professional. A good mentor is a coach, a guide, as well as a vocal advocate."
Story image
Cybersecurity
Palo Alto Networks named Google Cloud technology partner of the year for security
Palo Alto Networks was recognised for helping organisations rapidly transform security operations for future success.
Story image
Attack
Phishing attacks are making a comeback
No matter what approach or tool cybercriminals use to breach a network, they all have one thing in common: access.
Story image
SaaS
Varonis strengthens security capabilities for AWS and S3
Varonis has strengthened and expanded its cloud and security capabilities, with a critical aim of improving safety and boosting data visibility in Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3).
Story image
Hybrid workforce
Why hybrid working is here to stay and how to ace it
Citrix's new report reveals hybrid workers are more productive and engaged at work than their office and completely remote counterparts.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Boomi, Limepay, Thales, VMware & Zoom
We round up all job appointments from June 6-16, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Zscaler
Securonix partners with Snowflake, Zscaler in joint venture
Securonix is embarking on a joint technology integration with Snowflake and Zscaler to speed up threat detection and response at cloud scale.
Story image
Gaming
Intel Arc A380 graphics units launched in China, global release imminent
New Intel Arc A380 graphics units are set to bring next-generation technologies to gamers and content creators in the coming months. 
Story image
B2B
Corpay partners with supply chain platform PracBiz Exchange
Corpay's new partnership with PracBiz’s allows more than 4000 B2B suppliers on the latter's platform to use Corpay's global payments services.
Story image
Yubico
New research shows global drive for passwordless authentication
A new study has shown there has been a significant shift towards wanting a passwordless future, but adoption is still in its infancy.
Story image
Apple
LastPass announces new capability for iPhones and iPads
LastPass has announced its new save and fill experience, allowing customers to fill in, create and save their credentials directly within the site's form field.
Story image
Cloud
Cloudflare outage in 19 data centers worldwide due to own error
Cloudflare says its outage for 19 of its data centers yesterday was because of a change in a long-running project to increase resilience in its busiest locations.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Ingram Micro launches vendor-backed security program
Ingram Micro has unveiled a new program intended to give resellers the effective offerings their customers need to stay safe in the evolving threat landscape.
Story image
DDoS
Flashpoint unveils security offering for school boards
Flashpoint has released its K-12 risk management and security offering to provide school boards and education security practitioners with tools to recognise, prevent and manage cyber and physical threats.
Story image
Consumer
Adobe survey reveals link between brand trust and consumer buy-in
Adobe has announced results from a study, which finds a strong correlation between brand trust and consumer behaviour.
Story image
INTERPOL
Hundreds arrested, millions seized in global INTERPOL investigation
A two-month-long investigation by INTERPOL this year involved 76 countries and clamped down on organised crime groups behind telecommunications and social engineering scams.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Apptio adds portfolio enhancements to promote digital strategy
"While digitalisation creates opportunities, it also makes budgeting far more complex, leading many companies to waste substantial funds."
Story image
DDoS
Q1 DDoS and application attack activity reveals surprise result
The cybersecurity threat landscape in the first quarter of 2022 represented a mixed bag of old enemies and new foes. New actors dominated the DDoS threat landscape while application security faced tried-and-true attack vectors.
Story image
Review
Hands-on review: Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit A60
Philips’ range of Hue smart lighting promises to make any home a smart home. Techday’s Darren Price checks out the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit A60.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Trend Micro unveils dedicated security for electric vehicles
The cybersecurity company has announced VicOne - dedicated security for the electric vehicles and connected cars of today and tomorrow.
Story image
10 Minute IT Jams
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from Rimini Street
Today we welcome back Daniel Benad, who is the GVP & regional GM for Oceania at Rimini Street.