QR-code technology not secure

I am sceptical about Ms Maria Loh Mun Foong's suggestion of incorporating QR codes as an added security feature for degrees ("Issue QR codes as added security feature for degrees"; Monday).

It sounds like a good idea, but there are inherent risks and pitfalls.

An infected QR code can be used to access one's smartphone, and data can be downloaded and stolen.

The People's Bank of China has banned QR-code payment due to safety concerns, and this has sparked controversy on the security design of the technology.

Nowadays, QR-code payment is commonly used by merchants such as Starbucks to accept electronic payment without going through traditional payment gateways like MasterCard and Visa.

With QR-code payment being unregulated, it allows the transactions to skip the protection of traditionally well-regulated financial systems, so there is a higher risk of fraudulent and false transactions.

The Mobile Visual Search (MVS), which is 3D, is safer than the 2D QR-code technology.

The new technology allows one to utilise the camera in one's phone to snap pictures of a product or logo, and provides the option to make a purchase on the spot.

It not only provides information but also does not pose a security risk, and reduces the chance of attacks by viruses.

MVS offers encryption that eliminates the opportunity for malicious codes to be downloaded to one's smartphone.

This article was first published on June 3, 2015.
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