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114 votes

Why do "remote desktop" software (allegedly) commonly have a "blackout" feature?

So that passers-by cannot see what you are doing on your computer. If you are connecting remotely to a computer in an office, then everyone could see everything you type and you would not know. It is ...
schroeder's user avatar
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65 votes
Accepted

Does legitimate tech support use remote control software?

Yes, it is normal for legitimate tech support to use remote support tools. It's far easier than trying to blindly walk someone through a complicated series of technical steps. Companies like ...
schroeder's user avatar
  • 131k
65 votes

Why do "remote desktop" software (allegedly) commonly have a "blackout" feature?

Another legitimate use that hasn't been mentioned is for kiosk installations. At a previous job we operated a fair few unattended kioks and would remote into them for maintenance. Showing a blank ...
coagmano's user avatar
  • 541
58 votes

Is it okay for our IT support contractor to remote in to my workstation without authorization from me?

You haven't actually provided enough details to say one way or the other. The fact that you didn't see an authentication prompt doesn't preclude there from being one. The remote access tools I use ...
HopelessN00b's user avatar
  • 3,417
43 votes
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What type of permanent damage could be done to my computer through remote access (TeamViewer)?

On some CRT monitors there was a relay that was engaged when changing screen mode. By changing screen mode repeatedly very fast, it was possible to destroy this relay. Apparently some modern ...
Simes's user avatar
  • 546
34 votes
Accepted

I'm hacked without telling anyone my ip

I was using this PC for development and didn't tell or use it for any communication purpose so it's not possible that someone knew about it The entire Internet is regularly port scanned, both by ...
vidarlo's user avatar
  • 16.6k
33 votes

Does legitimate tech support use remote control software?

Yes, they do. A key difference is that typically you have initiated the session by asking them to help you. In order to do that they may ask you to launch a remote control tool, as it's both easier ...
Esa Jokinen's user avatar
30 votes

Why do "remote desktop" software (allegedly) commonly have a "blackout" feature?

One primary non-scam feature is to allow a technician to remote in to a desktop and use authentication that should not be viewed by the user. I actually worked for an ISP where a tech actually ...
phyrfox's user avatar
  • 5,724
27 votes
Accepted

Is it okay for our IT support contractor to remote in to my workstation without authorization from me?

HIPAA does not get to specifics of policy, the substance of it is that organization have to have sufficient controls in place to protect data. There's nothing inherently wrong with an unprompted ...
GdD's user avatar
  • 17.4k
19 votes
Accepted

Why do scammers use victims' computers to remote-control their own computers?

TeamViewer has noticed that scammers often come from India (or other places where scams often originate), and so when you get an incoming connection from India TeamViewer will give you a warning ...
menney's user avatar
  • 306
16 votes

What type of permanent damage could be done to my computer through remote access (TeamViewer)?

Let's assume the worst possible attacker. And for some reason, attacking without teamviewer isn't an option (like, the SMB bug, AMT in the CPU, any 0day from that angle, deliberate backdoors from MS ...
deviantfan's user avatar
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16 votes
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How is RDP through VPN safer?

By requiring a VPN you prevent the others from connecting to your RDP port directly. They have to go through your VPN first, and only then they can start connecting to your RDP. Effectively, you're ...
Michael's user avatar
  • 305
13 votes

What can I do about the Intel Management Engine?

Don't use the onboard NIC, which is how ME accesses the Internet. Instead, use a USB LAN device, or even one plugged into a PCI slot -- ME doesn't know how to use them!
burrito's user avatar
  • 149
11 votes

Does legitimate tech support use remote control software?

The short answer is “yes, with some caveats”. The long answer is yes, but you have to ensure that prior trust has been established with the support agent by ensuring one of the points is true: You ...
Draco-S's user avatar
  • 211
10 votes

What can I do about the Intel Management Engine?

You can use me_cleaner to wipe all but the most essential portions of the ME. This isn't without risks, of course. The NSA had Intel install a killswitch for it; you might be able to get your OEM ...
Miles B Huff's user avatar
8 votes

What can I do about the Intel Management Engine?

Completely and permanently (unless you re-install it) disable Intel Active Management Technology, Intel Small Business Technology, and Intel Standard Manageability on Windows. These are components of ...
Gaia's user avatar
  • 770
8 votes

Somone accessed my desktop right in front of my eyes

Yes, your machine has been compromised by an attacker. You may have fallen for a fake "Computer Support" scam, or opened a phishing email attachment, or clicked on a bad link, or even simply been the ...
John Deters's user avatar
  • 34.2k
8 votes

What can scammers see on my devices after I delete the remote desktop software?

Firstly, well done for realising that you were in the middle of falling for a scam. Changing your online banking details immediately on another device was wise. After closing this app can the ...
Johnny's user avatar
  • 1,061
7 votes

What can I do about the Intel Management Engine?

You can try disabling the AMT feature in your BIOS. Go to "Advanced Chipset Features" and then "Intel AMT" (the exact wording may be different for you), and set it to "Disabled". Save and exit ...
Lester T.'s user avatar
  • 1,293
6 votes

Is virus removal a security risk comparing to reinstalling everything from a clean source?

Right, when you're dealing with devious malware, it's very hard to determine whether you've completely removed it. Rootkits are pieces of malware that change core OS components (either on disk or in ...
Ben N's user avatar
  • 2,501
6 votes
Accepted

Copy SSH Public Key from Windows to Ubuntu

Any ideas on what to do? 1. EDIT Download cmder or use your favorite console emulator. Move your public key (id_rsa.pub) and your private key (id_rsa) to C:\Users\yourUserName\.ssh\ create the .ssh ...
Baptiste's user avatar
  • 1,703
6 votes

Can employers log internet traffic of employees personal computers?

The question of whether what they're doing is legal will very much depend on the country you are in as laws vary from place to place. As a general piece of advice, you might want to review your terms ...
Rory McCune's user avatar
  • 62.4k
6 votes
Accepted

Can a website detect remote operation of a computer?

There is no API or simple test a website can perform to know if there is a remote desktop involved. So they easy answer is no. But I would guess that your mouse movement and maybe also your typing is ...
Anders's user avatar
  • 65.6k
6 votes
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How to store private keys on flashdrive

If the private key is protected with a strong(!) passphrase that cannot realistically be recovered with a brute-force attack, it's fine to store it on a USB stick. Adding another factor like time-...
Ja1024's user avatar
  • 9,194
5 votes

How can scammers inject pop-ups onto target computers?

To bad that your grandfather got scammed by those bastards, anyway scam is known as "Teamviewer scam", and since stammers had an access to the computer, probably they installed trojan for later ...
Mirsad's user avatar
  • 10.2k
5 votes

Remmina RDP Certificate Fingerprint Changed

In my case, the previous certificate had expired, and the server generated a new one. I projected that this was the case based on the timing of the certificate change, compared to when the original ...
Dugg's user avatar
  • 51
5 votes

Does legitimate tech support use remote control software?

Yes, for example in a typical "Enterprise" setting. But note that the tech support will be one of your company (or a subsidiary, well-known partner, whatever). You will reach it through your ...
Damon's user avatar
  • 5,221
5 votes

Did I just get hacked?

Yeah, it sounds like you were hacked. Your mouse cursor isn't supposed to have a life of its own beyond your control! It sounds like someone was using a Remote Access Tool (RAT) on your computer. That ...
Anders's user avatar
  • 65.6k
5 votes
Accepted

Is using a work computer on a home network really more secure than a home computer remoting to the work network?

A home computer connecting through VPN to the company is basically a privately managed device (BYOD) inside the sensitive company network. A company computer connecting through VPN to the company is a ...
Steffen Ullrich's user avatar
4 votes

What can I do about the Intel Management Engine?

According to LibreBoot's FAQ, Intel CPUs aren't the only chips with this "feature" -- AMD has something just like it. Anyone who wants to be extra secure will simply not use modern CPUs. None of the ...
gmlox's user avatar
  • 127

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