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Security Solutions for Common QR Code Hacking Attempts in a Mobile App

Poornima G. Naik, Vaishali P. Bhosale, Sudhir B. Desai, Prashik Patekar


In this digital era, more and more customers are opting for financial transactions employing technology-enabled hand-held devices as opposed to the traditional banking. Mobile banking apps are growing to be more and more powerful incorporating various advanced features and customizations such as investments, bill payment, effective budgeting, account history, online shopping, convenient payment, etc. to name a few. This aims at providing convenient banking for a customer from anywhere at any time irrespective of time zone and geographical location of the customer. This in turn facilitates the improved quality of customer service in banking sector attracting more and more customers. However, the convenience comes at the cost of security. Mobile app needs to be safeguarded against various known security vulnerabilities for the customer to gain any confidence in operating the app with high degree of reliability. In the current research, the authors have designed a model comprehending the different security breaches pertaining to authenticity of QR code, integrity of QR code data, validity of QR code and double spending problem in a typical mobile app employing QR code for financial transactions. The possible security threats are addressed employing the proven techniques such as hashing, generation of unique transaction id for each QR code transaction and primary key concept. Different RBI norms to be incorporated in a mobile banking app are considered. The model is implemented employing the currently available technologies to prove its value to the customer. The research presents a hypothetical model with an emphasis on possibilities of QR code hacks are presented and the solutions are proposed.


ATM, authenticity, card-less cash, confidentiality, integrity, mobile banking applications, QR code

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