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Main screen of AnyDesk
|Developer(s)||AnyDesk Software GmbH Germany|
|Operating system||Windows, macOS, Linux, FreeBSD, Android, iOS|
|Type||Remote desktop software, Remote administration|
AnyDesk is a proprietary remote desktop tool distributed by AnyDesk Software GmbH. The software program facilitates remote access to personal computers running the host application, which can be installed on Windows, macOS, Linux and FreeBSD. AnyDesk allows users to access said computers both from personal computers and from iOS and Android mobile devices.
AnyDesk Software GmbH was founded in 2014 in Stuttgart, Germany. In May 2018, AnyDesk secured 6.5 million Euro funding in a Series A round led by EQT Ventures, the venture capital financing arm of the Swedish private equity firm EQT Partners.
AnyDesk uses TLS / AES to encrypt connections. In case clients are located within the same network and a direct connection can be established, end-to-end encryption is available for sessions . Additionally, whitelisting of incoming connections is possible.
Due AnyDesk's full admin rights on remote and unattended machines and the limited identification requirements (no personal data required for downloading, distributing and installing), there is an increasing number of malicious use reports specifically related to AnyDesk.
Bundling with ransomware
In May 2018, the Japanese cybersecurity firm Trend Micro discovered that cybercriminals bundled a new ransomware variant with AnyDesk, possibly as an evasion tactic masking the true purpose of the ransomware while it performs its encryption routine.
Technical support scams
Scammers are using AnyDesk and similar remote desktop software to obtain full access the victims computer. For these scams, people are called, either at random or from a list, by criminals claiming to represent a computer support service which has identified the victim's computer as being infected by malware, most often using the name of companies such as Microsoft or Apple. The victim then is asked to download and install AnyDesk. After installation, the scammer asks the victim for the access credentials to AnyDesk. After access is obtained, the attackers can infect the computer with or delete and copy personal files, private information, banking data, phone numbers, pictures among other sensitive data. Also other variants of exploits exist. As a general rule, users should be cautious installing remote support software requested on unsolicited calls and never should provide access information to people they do not know.
In 2017, the UK based ISP TalkTalk banned AnyDesk and similar software from all its networks to protect its users from scammers, cold calling victims and talking them into giving access to their computer.
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