The image above is a QR-encoded representation of the EICAR antivirus test string. The string (`X5O!P%@AP[4\PZX54(P^)7CC)7}$EICAR-STANDARD-ANTIVIRUS-TEST-FILE!$H+H*`) is used to check the effectiveness of antivirus systems without using actual malware. It was brought to my attention via a Tweet by computer security Rob Rosenberger in which he placed QR code on his car during a recent road trip. The intention here being to get automated scanners to read and insert the string into their databases, hopefully causing them to crash.
A few people mentioned how they wanted these on hats or shirts, so I spent some time today putting a couple of products up on the ecommerce site. After I put this out, someone noted that this string only works if it is the only data in a file, which reduces the likelihood that it will actually cause any havok.
Still, if the idea of trashing facial recognition systems or license plate scanners sounds like fun to you, then perhaps you’ll be interested in this.