A Letter to TeamViewer Users on the Recent Cyber Attacks

June 6, 2016
Archived, Productivity

Dear TeamViewer users – I want to take the opportunity now to write to you directly to speak about the concerns and uncertainties you may have regarding the recent reports of TeamViewer accounts being hijacked.

I think it is important to be as open and transparent as possible – to clearly explain what has happened, who has been affected, how they have been affected, and what is being done.

In this letter to you, I will explain:

  • That we have no evidence that there has been any data breach or security hole at TeamViewer.
  • How account data was stolen by cyber criminals through data breaches on popular social media platforms and other web services.
  • Why this led to an abuse of TeamViewer accounts by cyber criminals.
  • That TeamViewer’s two-factor authentication has not been compromised.
  • That we are appalled by the actions of cyber criminals.
  • That two additional security features were introduced last week and that, with continuous dedication to improvement of our security measures, we can avoid such an abuse in the future.
  • Why you can rest assured that TeamViewer is safe to use.
  • Who to report to that your account has been hijacked by cyber criminals.

We have no evidence that there has been a data breach at TeamViewer

Given the reports circulating online that have rightly caused concerns with our users, I feel it is necessary to clearly state that there is no evidence that there has been a data breach at TeamViewer.

At this point, we want to underscore that TeamViewer account authentication uses the Secure Remote Password protocol (SRP), which by design does not store any password-equivalent data.

We Take User Reports Seriously

However, as you have probably heard, there have been unprecedented large-scale data thefts on popular social media platforms and other web service providers.

Unfortunately, the information stolen in these external breaches has been used to access TeamViewer accounts, as well as other services. They have taken advantage of the common use of the same account information across multiple services to cause damage, meaning TeamViewer user accounts have been hijacked by cyber criminals.

We take every reported case extremely seriously, as the security of our users is our foremost concern.

The evidence we have is that nearly all cases of unauthorized access are due to cyber criminals gaining access with account details gained from the external data breaches elsewhere.

We have found no evidence that hijacks by cyber criminals occurred because of a data breach of TeamViewer’s databases.

However, the early rollout of two new security measures already in development, Trusted Devices and enforced TeamViewer account password reset, has helped us to improve your security against such hijacking.

The Trusted Devices feature ensures that, whenever your existing TeamViewer account attempts to sign in on any given device for the first time, we will ask you to confirm the new device as trusted before signing in.

Enforced TeamViewer account password reset determines continuously whether your TeamViewer account shows unusual behavior (e.g. access from a new location), which might suggest it has been compromised. To safeguard your data integrity, your TeamViewer account will be marked for an enforced password reset.

The Actions of Cyber Criminals

Sadly, evidence supplied by affected users suggests that money has been stolen from them by cyber criminals in various ways.

All the evidence from these cases suggests that there is no link between cases of cyber-burglary and a TeamViewer vulnerability.

It is very likely that cyber criminals use account credentials stolen from data breaches elsewhere or via malware installed on victims’ devices, among other such tactics.

We always recommend that, if you suspect that you have been the victim of criminal activities, you should get in touch with your local police department in order to report your case.

This is particularly important because TeamViewer is subject to very strict data protection and privacy regulations and can release sensitive data only to authorized individuals and authorities.

Additionally, to improve your security, please read through the password measures you can take to protect yourself from unauthorized access.

TeamViewer Two-Factor Authentication

I know that many users voiced deep concern over claims that surfaced suggesting users had two-factor authentication (TFA) enabled, and yet their account had still been compromised.

We have actively reached out to users who made this claim to investigate the issue fully.

So far, our investigations have not uncovered any evidence to suggest TeamViewer’s two-factor authentication has been compromised.

In all cases that we have looked into, we have found that two-factor authentication was not set up.

If you believe your system was compromised while having two-factor authentication activated, please get in touch with us so that we may investigate.

Our Dedication to Users

Our entire team appreciates and values every single user who uses and trusts TeamViewer. I am incredibly proud to lead a company that has such dedication to its users and customers.

This is why I have made sure that we take on board the feedback we received from some users who took offense to our previous description of “careless password use”.

It has certainly never been our intention to communicate anything other than that we are appalled by the actions of cyber criminals and that we are determined to continue supporting the security of our users.

We will internalize this feedback and make sure that our future communications more accurately describe our intended meaning.

Our Focus on Your Security

User security is at the core of everything we do, which is why TeamViewer has:

Additional information about TeamViewer’s security measures are available at: https://www.teamviewer.com/docs/en/TeamViewer-Security-Statement-en.pdf

A Final Word

I promise you that we will continue to develop and initiate additional measures to improve the safety of TeamViewer users even further.

We are determined to continue extending our security measures for you. We do not take your trust lightly, nor do we accept any compromise on data security.

As I mentioned earlier, if you believe your account has been compromised, please get in touch with us so that we may investigate.

Our heartfelt advice to you is to:

For further security information, please visit the FAQ page on TeamViewer account security.

Thank you again to our users for your incredible support in helping us improve security to better thwart cyber criminals.

Related posts

Want more? Exclusive deals, the latest news: Our Newsletter!