Players Beware: Teamviewer Has Been Hacked!

4 years ago
Teamviewer Has Been Hacked!
07 Jun

Poker players get a bad wrap for playing the game in an effort to win money from opponents. But we do so in a fair way knowing our opponent is in the game for the reason we are as they want to beat us as badly as we want to beat them. As we pit our poker wits against one another it is a case of “may the best player win.”

Scumbags who fraudulently steal from others are a disgrace and it has recently come to light that Teamviewer, one of the most popular remote sharing programs on the planet has been hacked with some poker players falling victim to the fraud, in some cases having thousands of dollars stolen. Their money was stolen because hackers were able to remotely control their machine using Teamviewer and then transfer money from their PayPal account to another account.

Why might poker players more vulnerable than anyone else? Readers of this article might be at risk as if you use the services of a poker coach or your share your screen with friends in order to review hand histories. If you have used a poker coach there is a good chance you have used Skype or Teamviewer to allow your coach to share your screen to benefit from their guidance as they teach you how to play better poker. A program like Teamviewer is ideal to share your screen and because the software is free there are millions of users potentially vulnerable to the evil intentions of the hackers.

Most of the hacks followed a similar pattern. Users had the Teamviewer software on their computer and the software was hacked so the hacker could connect to the victim's computer and enjoy free reign to go online and attempt to access their PayPal accounts. As many of us use cookies so our passwords are stored in our own machine to save us time, once inside the computer the hackers could access other accounts easily and transfer large sums of money to different accounts if PayPal could be accessed. Hopefully the destination accounts of where the hackers transferred the money can give the police a lead to following the money and catching those responsible. Unfortunately they are likely to be well-hidden.

An anonymous user on Reddit commented that:

“I have unique passwords for every website, created with keepass so I don't even know my passwords. On Saturday at 3 am someone accessed my paypal account and transferred $3,000 from my PayPal account to theirs. My bank account is linked to PayPal, so it withdraws it from my checking account. They also made two other purchases for $250 and $200, both for iTunes gift cards.”

It is therefore clear that Teamviewer was the facilitating software for a wider fraud that took place because once inside your computer, many people choose convenience over proper security and instead of using time consuming multi-password authentication to access our accounts on our favorite websites we have our computer save our passwords. We all need to learn lessons here.

2+2 forum user _Loki_ posted some good advice which everyone should bare in mind when thinking about how to protect your account from hackers if you choose to continue to use teamviewer. _Loki_ says you should only run Teamviewer when you're going to use it and not allow your computer to run the program in the background. You should set up a secure, unique account password and where possible use two-factor authentication to maximize protection even if this can seem labored and irritating at times. You should also always download the latest version of Teamviewer. Keeping software up to date gives you the added protection of the various security upgrades that are made to the software as the battle to stay one step ahead of hackers is an ongoing challenge for the software developers. Thanks to _Loki_ for the great advice.

Whilst Teamviewer is a useful program I would advise that if you do not need or use ANY software on your machine, no matter what it is, then it is best to uninstall it. You never know what trojan horse is lurking in the background ready to unleash hell on you as you go about your daily business, whether poker related or not.

Many forum users also state the importance of ensuring that the software (indeed any software like Skype or Teamviewer) does not run by default when you start your machine. This can leave you vulnerable to hackers without you even realizing there is a problem so it is better to have to open the software when you want to use it, keeping you in control of how your machine is operating at all times.

Teamviewer recommend that users should upgrade to the latest version of their software which has a couple of additional security measures added in light of the recent problems. It is unfortunately too late for some people who fell victim to these criminals and although it is highly unlikely the perpetrators will be found, I really hope they are ultimately held to account for their crimes.

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Malcolm comes from Consett in the North East of England and is an avid poker player and writer.Read more


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