How secure are Remote Control services? For example, Go To My PC, Team Viewer, LogMein, WebEx?

How secure are these services? Is a session sand-boxed to where if I connect to your computer, I won't be able to spread my viruses to you and vice-versa? Or, is getting infected a possibility.  I understand both connections are encrypted through the service provider, but how secure is it from getting infected from my computer to yours?  

Any security info on remote control services would be very helpful.

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Virus transmission through a third party remote control service is extremely unlikely. E.g. if you connect to a friend's computer through TeamViewer and they have a virus, there is almost zero chance that virus will get into your computer. And vice versa.

The only way this can happen is by having the virus exploit a specific vulnerability in such a program. As far as I know, none such vulnerabilities exist that are popular enough for a virus writer to actually bother with.

The only thing I can think of is if you enable "folder sharing" in the "Local Resources" section of Remote Desktop. Then a folder on your computer becomes accessible to the remote party. Potentially a virus can copy itself to your computer's hard drive in the folder you shared. However it would still just be a file. You would have to actually execute it yourself.


The real security concern is someone accessing the remote party's computer unauthorized. For example, if you enable remote desktop on a client's computer, *anybody* with the appropriate credentials can get in. If you install VNC Server on a computer, it is possible for an unauthorized person to get in and remote control that computer without the remote party's knowledge. That's the actual security concern with remote assistance software.

Security measures are already in place for this, though. For example, VNC Server requires a password to access it and it will strongly warn you if you turn off the password requirement. Remote Desktop does not work without a password on the person's computer unless you explicitly turn off that requirement via Group Policies. TeamViewer, when it runs, presents the user with a four digit "access code" which they must read to you in order for you to gain access, and it changes every time the program is run, so you can't get in without some explicit human interaction.

So in a nutshell, no I don't think virus transmission is a big concern, and security is not an issue so long as you are aware of the potential issues.

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victor2008Author Commented:
That's great info!  Would you happen to have a link with more details on security and remote control service?
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