Malware in our local shops. Possible or not?

So i heard that some car navigators, mp3 players like ipods and other stuff have included some viruses, but the problems have been solved with newer versions of the products, or with a patch or something like that. But think about this. Could it be possible that somebody would create a virus and somehow inserts it to a black-and-white code (can’t remember the real name) that they have in the side or on top/below of products. So he/she writes te malicious code, inserts it to that kind of an thing, and then, somehow print’s the thing out. (Example with a high tech laser printer.) Then the person glues the code to a simple product that they sell in every market, supermarket and so on (Like a pakkage of sausages)., and takes it to a store and put’s it to the selfs. Then someone comes, picks up the “infected” product, goes to the checkout and the product goes trough the code reader. Then the malicious code “enters” the computer/othet machine that is using the code reader, by re-creating itself as the computer re-creates the black-and-white code and the name of the product pop’s up to the screen, showing what the customer purchased. Then the code sticks itself to the computer, and starts taking up the creditcard information that passes by the computer. This way the criminal/virus writer could get the credit card information of all the customers passing by that checkout. The worst case scenario would probably be that the virus would start spreading by sticking it self to the creditcard and/or spreads also by the local area network inside the shop/market/shoping center.
SO. Would this be possible, or does this go to the books of science-fiction, has this already happened or could this happen in the future? This just popped into my mind like the last crazy idea about virusscanners that scan the website before the user visits them and this way elimiantes all the possible threats on that page/prevents them from ever even entering the computer. Mayby i have read too many scifi stories and horror stories about malware. (:LGH)

So Your Saying Basically…
If Someone Injected A Code Into Say The Microsoft Producing Plants That Creates Copies Of Windows XP or What ever, and That Malware Infected Copies Of Microsoft Gets To The Market And Grandma Tutieto Gets Windows XP And it’s the copy of the malware infected windows, and she enters the “Credit Card” Info and stuff and so the author of the malware gets her credit card…

Is it possible?
Yes, It’s Very Possible…


I don’t think it would be easy to infect a the store pc using “wrong” barcodes on the reader, i guess the reader should “bleep” that it doesn’t know the product. Never say never but i think they would think of easier things to do.

Mm. Indeed. Think that the Malwarewriters will stick to the easier methods than trying to create wrong barcodes including malware. (:TNG)

but what if this is already happening and we don’t know about it becaues it was made top secret?



Only way to keep things top secret is to do it on your own, the minute your with two people and they are starting to make big money, people tend to change habits and secrecy is gone.

Indeed. But if this truly is happening, in some levevl that is, that barcodes contain stuff like infostealers or other thingies that steal our personal data when they pass by the barcode reader, we might be in serious trouble.

Barcodes are simply an Id code (alpha-numeric with the 2D systems) that identifies the product being scanned in (the reader software is incapable of executing anything other than a lookup of this code - it remains static throughout its life). The code is either found (product Identified) or not found (product not found).
I learned this when designing a POS system capable of reading bar codes. I doubt anyone would create a virus that could/would be injected by the act of scanning a bar code.
Just my thoughts on the topic.

Oh. Nice to hear that someone has knowlage of barcodes. So it is very unlikely, even impossible to include a virus in barcode? Lovely. Problem solved.

The data in a barcode can only consist of inert (non-executable) data. Although the data structure of the barcode and the means of reading and parsing the data is standardised, the mechanism of the barcode scanner is not standardized. Therefore, it would be impossible to build infective code into a barcode.

In essence, they could put the code for malware in a barcode, but it would be illegible to a barcode reader. Sort of like having a printout of malware code. Simply reading it won’t infect our eyes.

Ewen :slight_smile: