Strange Encoding Errors in TOTP QR Codes


A QR code.

Not really a security issue, but one which I thought was worth highlighting. It shows the peril of slightly vague specifications. When you scan a 2FA token into your authenticator app via QR code, you get presented with a bunch of information about your account. This lets you store things like the issuer and the…

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I was told that QR codes would never succeed because no one could make money from them


I can't think of anyone who has had a better year than the QR code. What a comeback. — Grace Mulvey (@GraceMulvey1) December 17, 2021 Search back through this blog and you'll find dozens of posts about QR codes. Back in the day, I was a freelance "Mobile Internet" consultant. I'd rock up to companies…

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A QR code built from Emoji


A QR built from emoji squares.

It's possible to encode QR images as text. In this case, Emoji!

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Donating via SMS - using QR Codes


One of the greatest cultural achievements of the last Labour Government was making museum entry free for everyone. Whether you're rich, poor, British, foreign, young, old - you can enjoy the treasures of our museums and galleries. Of course, while museums are funded by the state, they still rely on generating some external revenue -…

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ASCII Art in QR Codes


There are plenty of QR generators which will render the code in ASCII, but I wanted to try something a little different. Is it possible to hide ASCII Art into QR Codes? Errr.... yes... It's pretty damn simple! I was surprised I couldn't find anyone else doing this. (_/) (='.'=) (")_(") Becomes: Which, when scanned,…

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QR Codes on Energy Bills


This is a necropost - resurrected from the now defunct blog of a previous employer. Sadly, the follow-up post has fallen down the memory hole. You can still read Sharon's response to it. Well, we can finally unwrap one of the little projects The Lab has been working on. Along with the Department of Energy…

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A New Life for QRpedia


The QRpedia project I helped found has gone from strength to strength. It's now in more museums, towns, and art galleries than ever before. It's helping open up exhibits to people in hundreds of languages. That said, I've not been able to devote as much time as I would like to - nor have other…

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QR Codes in the Hardware Store


I'm a big fan of QR codes. A few years ago, I did some work for a major UK retailer who wanted to put QR codes on some of their DIY products. Rather than ship expensive instructions with each item, there would be a QR code on the packaging which linked directly to a video…

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A QR Specification For Mobile Payments


BitCoin and other crypto-currencies are gaining popularity at the moment - but I remain firmly convinced that they're too hard for the average person to use. I have, however, watched with interest as an ecosystem grows around them. In particular, I like the way The Pirate Bay (and others) have used QR codes to facilitate…

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Lambeth's Brilliant QR Codes


Strolling along London's Southbank the other day, I came across one of those new-fangled information posts. Crudely stuck to it was a decidedly old-fashioned piece of paper bearing a planning notice. But! My my! What's that in the lower left corner? A QR code! Unsurprisingly, scanning the code takes you directly to the planning application…

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