QR-Jacking

Just an idea I had the other day.

STEP 1 – Find your target. For this, I chose just a simple magazine cover.

STEP 2 – Create your code – I made several to make sure I could have a close fit. Cut out your chosen replacement.

STEP 3 – Hit it with a little spray-on adhesive. Alternatively to Steps 1 and 2, you could simply make stickers. I chose to use paper/spray-adhesive because it’s cheaper and slightly thinner.

STEP 4 – Well, yeah, then you pretty much just stick it on your target.

STEP 5 – Test out your hijacked QR code!

General Notes – I used this QR code generator – it let’s you build in 30% error-reading capability, which is useful if you want to maybe remove some blocks and add a personalized tag, or simply because if it’s damaged by wind or weather it’ll still scan.
Further, you can simply code in text messages, not necessarily a link to a website. Might be nice to stick a few to the back of a bus seat and give someone a smile or friendly blurb on their morning commute.

If you’re interested, the image I linked to can be found here.

As far as potential uses, it seems a little iffy. There’s definitely some legal questions about hijacking someone else’s advertisement, particularly if it were applied to a large ad or the hijacked QR linked to content aimed at either subverting the ad or simply shocking the viewer. As far as other marketers using it to steal ads, that also seems like there are some definite ethical and potential legal questions. It might be a useful promotional tool for bands, artists, or others who can motivate fans to do their dirty work.

Additionally, this could be taken a step further by replicating an entire QR placement, including the “Scan here for …” header, and then placing it somewhere that never had a QR code to begin with.



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