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Secure QR - Can Artificial Intelligence help detect Malicious QR Codes?

  • Rajesh Soundararajan
  • Nov 15, 2022
  • 5 min read
Secure QR - Can Artificial Intelligence help detect Malicious QR Codes?

Prevent QR Code Tampering at Source

Introduction

QR codes have been around since 1994 but have only gained popularity in the last few years. They’re an excellent alternative to barcodes because they can store more information than traditional barcodes and can be read with any smartphone. However, all QR codes are not secure and can be easily manipulated by hackers or other malicious actors. This makes the use of QR code technology seem risky in general. The truth is that it is not so. Here at Qryptal, we’ve developed a real-time artificial intelligence-like system called Secure QR. Not only does it generate a secure tamper proof QR but can also verify whether or not a QR code has been tampered with.

Rise of QR Codes

QR codes are a type of barcode that many mobile devices can scan with a built-in camera. The QR code stands for “Quick Response”, which refers to the ability of the code to provide immediate information upon scanning.

A QR code consists of black and white modules arranged in a square pattern on top of a background that is usually coloured. These modules can also be any other shape within the square pattern, such as circles or triangles, but rectangular shapes are the most common. The size of each module depends on its purpose: some may be large enough to hold text, while others might only contain small symbols or numbers. (QR codes can be unique shapes, however, the functional, scannable part of round QR codes or other shapes like clouds or triangles are always square)

Rise of AI

AI is the science and engineering of making intelligent machines. It is a subset of ML, which stands for machine learning. AI has been around since 1956 when it was first invented to play chess. However, it has grown in popularity with the rise of technology and its usefulness in our everyday lives.

Can AI assist in QR Code Security?

Can Artificial Intelligence (AI) detect malicious QR codes ?

Yes, AI can be used to detect if a URL based QR code has malicious intent - that is, the destination website that the QR Code is directing a user to, is likely malicious. AI can be trained to detect malicious QR codes in real-time while being scanned. For instance, an AI software tool processing the data from a barcode scanner can be trained to detect malicious QR code links. Instead of allowing users to fall prey to indistinguishable redirected pages, AI scanners can automatically and regularly check whether or not the page that the QR code is directing to is legitimate [1]

[1]https://ai4good.org/blog/contactless-qr-managing-cybersecurity-with-ai/

But with Secure QR, you can prevent QR code tampering at the source

But prevention is better than cure. And more cost effective too. An AI engine will need to be regularly trained and updated to detect malicious sites. As such there is still a chance a malicious site could fall through the cracks. In that case, it’s too late to hope that the verifier/ scanner has an AI system that can detect a malicious code tampering and prevent fraud from happening. So what do we do?

To solve this problem, we need to create a tamperproof QR code. A tamperproof QR code is a secure QR code that cannot be read if tampered with. That’s right! If someone tries altering the data field of your original QR Code (like changing information), they won’t be able to read it anymore because Secure QR (like what Qryptal helps generate) has built-in Real-Time Intelligence against Tampering. This can be applied to more than just redirect QR codes (which redirect users to webpages), it can be applied to verify the authenticity of documents, as well for transaction related QRs.

6 point guide for best QR code solution

Secure QR Code has built-in-Intelligence against Tampering

1. Immediate intelligence : Secure QR codes can instantly assess the content of a scanned code and make decisions if it has been tampered with. Can include detecting malicious content or tampering.

2. Detection of tampering : Secure QR codes can detect if they have been altered or changed since their creation, using a variety of methods including but not limited to: checking that the data matches what was initially generated by the system, that signatures match, etc.

3. Prevention of Tampering : The system maintains integrity by preventing malicious users from making any unauthorised modifications as also providing access only to authorised users if needed - when they scan these secure codes with their phone cameras. Users may receive an error message indicating “This action is currently unavailable” and may be prompted with additional security measures before being allowed access again.

Advantages of Qryptal Secure QR code

Qryptal Secure QR code is a technology that prevents tampering of QR codes at the source (generation) itself. With Qryptal Secure QR Code, you can easily prevent tampering using the built-in intelligence against tampering. The built-in AI will verify the authenticity of your QR code and alert you if there is any suspicious activity going on with your QR Code.

Please look at this video to see Qryptal’s secure intelligence at work

The Qryptal System

In the video, you can see our system in action. It recognises a malicious QR code and immediately intimates the scanner.

Conclusion

I hope you have enjoyed this blog post about the rise of QR codes and Artificial Intelligence. Please look at this video to see Qryptal’s real-time intelligence at work. Don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about how we can help you protect your information assets against tampering.


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