back to article Brit ISP TalkTalk blocks control tool TeamViewer

TalkTalk has blocked remote desktop management tool TeamViewer from its network, following a spate of scammers using the software to defraud customers. A spokeswoman for the UK ISP confirmed it had blocked "a number of sites and applications" including TeamViewer from its network to protect customers from phishing and scamming …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I too have wasted time on this issue today only to find that Talktalk have decided to implement a sledgehammer fix to a scamming issue experienced by some customers.

    I wonder where the scammers got hold of their client telephone numbers from in the first place.

    1. malle-herbert
      Coat

      Re : I wonder where the scammers got hold of their client telephone numbers from in the first place.

      Exactly... instead of fixing things the proper way, they're making life miserable for a lot of customers who are using a legitimate piece of software on their network...

      If ShutupShutup really wanted to address the problem, maybe they could generate a brand-new account-number for every customer and send it to them accompanied by a letter stating that everyone using their old account number is probably a scammer...

      1. Infernoz Bronze badge
        Facepalm

        Re : I wonder where the scammers got hold of their client telephone numbers from.. India?

        Outsourcing to less civilised countries like Indian is probably a major reason why this information leaks; other businesses have also discovered this the hard way! I've seen poorer work from India and that may compromise security too.

        Talk Talk should have at least made this block controllable via a switch/optional-domain-white-list in the user account, priority emailed all customers that it will be blocked by default, like for the adult material block, then set the switch to block, that way most customers would be automatically protected, but those who really do need it can could login and set the switch to unblocked.

        My Draytek broadband router (Delight version) has loads of network-application/cloud blocking switches in it, and I have blocked plenty, including TeamViewer; Talk Talk and other ISPs may need to consider something like this too in the user account, because there are plenty of other network applications which can be abused and I'm not sure that their customer broadband routers are good enough to do this.

        1. iRadiate

          Re: Re : I wonder where the scammers got hold of their client telephone numbers from.. India?

          Yeah those less civilised countries that can that put up over 100 satellites in a single launch...Who needs em?

          1. TheVogon Silver badge

            Re: Re : I wonder where the scammers got hold of their client telephone numbers from.. India?

            "Yeah those less civilised countries that can that put up over 100 satellites in a single launch...Who needs em?"

            This is primarily because it's cheaper due to lower labour costs and fewer safety cares. If a rocket crashes somewhere it's much less of an issue out there! Life is cheaper in a third world country, and the cost is a much larger concern for nano satellites.

            There was no special technology used here or any real technical claim to fame - the just chucked 100 mostly tiny (<10KG) nano satellites out the door.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

        3. Triggerfish

          Re: Re : I wonder where the scammers got hold of their client telephone numbers from.. India?

          Outsourcing to less civilised countries like Indian is probably a major reason why this information leaks;

          I'd put it down more to just generally not giving a shit about the customers. You can see that in the way they handled the whole leaking of data fiasco.

        4. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: Re : I wonder where the scammers got hold of their client telephone numbers from.. India?

          "Talk Talk should have at least made this block controllable via a switch/optional-domain-white-list in the user account,

          Doesn't that imply that they might have a clue what they're doing instead of, you know, turning everything off at one time...

        5. d3vy Silver badge

          Re: Re : I wonder where the scammers got hold of their client telephone numbers from.. India?

          @infernoz

          While most of your comment it utter arse gravy (nationality plays no part in work quality) talk talk could have implemented an option to allow it on individual connections.

          For example BT have a parental filter that can be switched on and off and blocks proxy and alternate DNS server access it can be switched on and off at will by the end user. Perhaps something similar from talk talk.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Re : I wonder where the scammers got hold of their client telephone numbers from.. India?

            @d3vy

            Since your post seems like LSD(Liberal Socialist Dementia), we are most likely not getting through to you, but...:

            Nationality has a LOT to do with quality of work. Inheritance and Environment together decides the outcome.

            A good example is Micro$haft, where most of the work is now done by third rate Elephant Washers, and one of them have now become CEO!

            The result is that the quality of their software and support has never been worse..

            Remember the saying about Peanuts and Monkeys!

            The problem with the degenerative brain disease known as Political Correctness continues to further emasculate the tech world, seen no clearer than the forums of El Rag and Le Inq...!!

            Be a Man, and Make Tech Great Again!

        6. Jerry G.

          Re: Re : I wonder where the scammers got hold of their client telephone numbers from.. India?

          Many people have registered on the Do Not Call list in their country. For example both the US and Canada have a shared list and agreement for this. I believe the UK and Australia are part of the same list system. The idea is marketing companies buy a copy of this list and run a software that is supposed to disable their systems from being able to dial the phone numbers on the list. These phone numbers on the list are supposed to also be blocked in their system for solicited phone calls.

          The malicious Scammers and etc., buy or obtain these lists. They use the lists as a call list rather than a Do Not Call list.

          There is advertising and promotions going on to encourage people to participate in the list to avoid Scam calls and annoying marketing calls. The list is probably very effective locally, but not for any foreign countries where there is no way or possibility of prosecuting the Scammers in those countries. In the end, you are dammed if you do go in the list, and you can be dammed if you do not go on to the list.

      2. Halfmad Silver badge

        Re: Re : I wonder where the scammers got hold of their client telephone ...

        This would require two things which TalkTalk clearly don't have 1. Systems which are fit for purpose. 2. Management with an understanding of what's going on.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re : I wonder where the scammers got hold of their client telephone numbers from?.

        From the three hacks of TalkTalk's customer data in around 14 months. That 's where they got the numbers and my guess is that a lot of the people falling for these scams are in the over 60's group.

        The problem is that these clowns pretend to be Philippino or Indian. TalkTalk customer service is out of Manila or Mumbai. The TeamViewer program works on Mac, and PC’s using Windows or Linux. If you want some fun tell them your PC is running BeOS installed by a relative and you know nothing. That stumps them. Despite leaving TalkTalk last year, I’m getting 3 calls/day from these scammers on average after a peak of 11 calls/day last year.

    2. big_D Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Oh, oh, cars are used by criminals, quick, ban all cars on UK roads!

      1. Tidosho

        The internet is used by millions of criminals, let's turn off the giant worldly fat-pipe!

    3. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      And without even emailing their own customers in advance to keep them informed...how hard would that have been?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        E-mail is abused by scammers and phishers. They have therefore blocked E-mail on their network.

        At least, that might explain why their mail service fails for days at a time.

        1. Sanctimonious Prick
          Mushroom

          Scammers use the Internet to commit their crimes... oh... oops!

        2. JimboSmith Silver badge

          E-mail is abused by scammers and phishers. They have therefore blocked E-mail on their network.

          At least, that might explain why their mail service fails for days at a time.

          Like when they stopped supporting Homechoice emails and told no one about it? Then when questioned about what they'd done the nice people in India said that they didn't have anything to do with Homechoice and we should contact the ISP direct. When I proved that Tiscali bought Homechoice and then Talk Talk bought Tiscali there was normally either silence or "We don't have any information on that service, sorry".

      2. GregorF92

        It's even worse, because it was network wide.

        Teamviewer can be a business-critical application to many people, especially if you work from home.

        Someone on the /r/UK thread about it mentioned that the reason they unblocked it is because their own service engineers use it, and couldn't do their jobs.

        https://www.reddit.com/r/unitedkingdom/comments/5yf6lz/so_it_looks_like_talktalk_has_become_the_first_uk/deq8owt/

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "Teamviewer can be a business-critical application to many people, especially if you work from home."

          If people are doing business-critical work from home why are they using TalkTalk?

      3. gnarlymarley Bronze badge

        And without even emailing their own customers in advance to keep them informed...how hard would that have been?

        This is what the ISP copyright law is doing. Block whole sites, which will catch good usage as well as the bad. And keep it in a hush/hush mode. This is kinda the reason why I do not like blanket ISP blocks. You either have false negatives or false positives. You can never have a filter that is completely perfect.

    4. TheVogon Silver badge

      Because they won't just use something else that does the same thing instead....

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      My mum is on Talk Talk and was recently called by the Indian scam merchants saying they were from Talk Talk, spotting problems with her computer and wanted to help. She said "I don't believe you because Talk Talk have never wanted to help me in the past and I don't think they do now." She then hung up and they haven't called back yet.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Money is abused by scammers. I have therefore banned money from any future dealings with TalkTalk

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC

      "I wonder where the scammers got hold of their client telephone numbers from in the first place."

      And I wonder how long it'll take those scammers to use this situation to their advantage.

      "Hello, im with talktalk. u got problems with teamviewer right now? yeah, we know, but we got fix for u. you just need to run as root and all will be good. u dont have root? np, we soon will!"

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sledgehammer meet nut

    A Doh! moment if ever there was one.

    TV is used for all sorts of very legal work. If I had a paid license for TV I'd be talking to my lawyers right now.

    I use it for supporting customers all over the world. I'm doing an upgrade to a system in California as I type this (waiting for Oracle to export the old db, sigh)

    But there again, I'm not siilly enough to use TT as my ISP.

    so I suppose you get what you pay for don't you?

    1. LeahroyNake Silver badge

      Re: Sledgehammer meet nut

      I agree that teamviewer is a great piece of software but it's expensive if you license it properly. Log me in, go to meeting etc have also gone to monthy subscription service. Unfortunately VNC is not up to the task of easily connecting basic users through firewalls etc.

      I still use ScreenConnect after buying a perpetual license a few years ago. It's self hosted on a Centos VM total cost £450 and £60 a year for updates. You can't buy it anymore though... unless you want a monthly subscription or £**** up front.

      1. psychonaut

        Re: Sledgehammer meet nut

        yeash, i looked at screen connect about 4 years ago - at the time of the great logmein debacle when logmein revoked free access completely with about 5 days notice, and hiked prices for paying customers by ludicrous amounts (mine went from £200 per year to £1500), and also took those inflated amounts from peoples accounts without telling them that the amount had gone through the roof.

        i hate logmein now. its a great product, but they are bastards, and i will never ever go back to them

        i evaluated loads of different options, and screen connect came second. it was a great price but it just wasnt ready at the time i felt, and i went with teamviewer.

        i get decent prices on teamviewer because i jumped on board a while ago - its £200 or so a year for unlimited on 1 channel. if i was to sign up now though i suspect it would be a shed load more

        1. psychonaut

          Re: Sledgehammer meet nut

          thumb down...please explain...

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Sledgehammer meet nut

            "thumb down...please explain..."

            Not me but let me guess. Your inability/refusal to use your shift key?

            Once upon a time we had teletypes which were single case. We got rid of that years ago which made it much easier to read stuff. Now we seem to be drifting back to that situation albeit with lower case rather than upper case.

            1. psychonaut

              Re: Sledgehammer meet nut

              with a name like doctor syntax, i guess i shouldn't be surprised....fair enough. still cant be arsed to do shift for commentards though...

              1. Wensleydale Cheese

                Re: Sledgehammer meet nut

                "still cant be arsed to do shift for commentards though...:

                That's just plain rude.

        2. Noonoot

          Re: Sledgehammer meet nut

          I tried Screenconnect (Connectwise now) to replace Teamviewer but then I got a fixed IP address and switched software. Use NoMachine now. 4 years ago it has just been released and was not good enough. I just rediscovered it. Plus they're pretty decent guys and don't charge for the free version even for work use.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Stop

        @Leah

        "Unfortunately VNC is not up to the task of easily connecting basic users through firewalls etc."

        Yes it is, and it has been this way for years now. Both the original VNC as well as the spin off which I prefer: TightVNC.

        The trick is to set up VNC on your client as usual, then set up a so called listening viewer on your end with all the right port forwarding configured. Call your client, ask them to right click on the VNC icon and then use "attach listening viewer" (TightVNC) or "Add new client" (vanilla VNC). Make them enter the name (I often used vnc.mydomain.com or remote.mydomain.com) and done.

        1. Peter 26

          Re: @Leah

          I think that explains exactly why it's not there yet. if you just want to use it for a one off with an IT illiterate user that's a lot of hassle, it'd probably be easier to talk them through fixing the issue than connecting in to do it yourself.

          With Teamviewer they have made the download button simple to find on their main screen, you can run it without installing it from the download, then it just gives you a number in your face you can ask the user for.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sledgehammer meet nut

      > TV is used for all sorts of very legal work. If I had a paid license for TV I'd be talking to my lawyers right now.

      Ah, so you're using the Free, Non-Commercial verison...

      > I use it for supporting customers all over the world. I'm doing an upgrade to a system in California as I type this (waiting for Oracle to export the old db, sigh)

      but you're using it for commercial purposes...

      > ... so I suppose you get what you pay for don't you?

      Or in your case, *don't* pay for? ;-)

  3. Alistair Silver badge
    Windows

    Sounds like an executive snit

    EXEC: Well, these bastards are using it, just BLOCK IT NOW!.

    TECH: Sir, that's *really* not a good idea - there are lots of legitima....

    EXEC: I said "NOW". Either that or there's the door.

    Clearly someone is neither technologically inclined, nor particularly likely to listen to reasonable advise.

    Next iteration:

    These scammers are calling our customers on phones, TURN IT OFF!

    (there's a foot surgeon somewhere that will be kept busy by this TT exec......)

    1. Haku

      Re: Sounds like an executive snit

      Dark Helmet: Now hear this! Ludicrous speed!

      Colonel Sandurz: Sir, hadn't you better buckle up?

      Dark Helmet: Aw, buckle this! Ludicrous speed! Go!!

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Sounds like an executive snit

      I doubt the tech said anything apart from "OK, boss", judging by the technical fuck ups that they've made so far.

      1. Triggerfish

        Re: Sounds like an executive snit

        It's sweet to assume the tech was in the conversation. Let's be honest it probably would have been an order from the top to the techs.

        Why ask the techs? After all what the fuck do they know about running a business?

    3. david bates

      Re: Sounds like an executive snit

      Technically inept? Never!

      I must have dreamed the Muppet who runs PcWorld taking about his IoT fridge on Radio 4. He's not worried about security because noone would be interested in the photos of the stuff in his fridge that it can supply supply over the internet.

      If you needed another reason to avoid PCWorld...

    4. DJ Smiley

      Re: Sounds like an executive snit

      'Clearly someone is neither technologically inclined, nor particularly likely to listen to reasonable advise.'

      This is talk talk of 'Whoops we lost 14 million customers details'... I think someone there doesn't really care what anyone else thinks.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Guess which remote control tool Microsoft uses for its home user support.

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      "Guess which remote control tool Microsoft uses for its home user support."

      Windows Remote Assistance. Which is built in.

  5. Justicesays

    Well here's my "recommendation"

    Talk Talk should just progressively block more and more traffic until all their customers leave.

    That would solve the fundamental issue here.

    1. malle-herbert
      Joke

      Re: Talk Talk should just progressively block more and more traffic...

      And call themselves BlockBlock instead ?

      1. m0rt Silver badge

        Re: Talk Talk should just progressively block more and more traffic...

        I prefer DumbDumb.

        1. pstiles

          Re: Talk Talk should just progressively block more and more traffic...

          the upvote was because I assumed it was a clever reference to the talktalk song dum-dum girl.

          1. psychonaut

            Re: Talk Talk should just progressively block more and more traffic...

            cant we just drop straight to what it should be, which is CuntCunt?

            i mean, there no reason to pussyfoot around

            1. psychonaut

              Re: Talk Talk should just progressively block more and more traffic...

              another thumb down?? who is this person? come on, explain!

              1. WonkoTheSane Silver badge
                Windows

                Re: Talk Talk should just progressively block more and more traffic...

                "another thumb down?? who is this person? come on, explain!"

                Obviously, the CEO of TalkTalk reads El Reg! (That's him -->)

                1. WonkoTheSane Silver badge

                  Re: Talk Talk should just progressively block more and more traffic...

                  *looks at score...* See? PROOF!

              2. Noonoot

                Re: Talk Talk should just progressively block more and more traffic...

                No one dares to admit the c..c...slur was very funny and instead prefer to show their disdain when in fact they probably use it more than yourself

              3. hplasm Silver badge
                Coat

                Re: Talk Talk should just progressively block more and more traffic...

                "another thumb down?? who is this person? come on, explain!"

                Er, Dido summat springs to mind. Crazy Ex...

                1. psychonaut

                  Re: Talk Talk should just progressively block more and more traffic...

                  @hplasm

                  yeah, she wont stop calling me. well, her indian minions wont anyway....

  6. frank ly

    VPN?

    Will a VPN bypass the TalkTalk block?

    1. psychonaut

      Re: VPN?

      i would think so.

      however, imagine trying to get doris the 80 year old to install it over the phone on her pc

      or gina the 40 year old for that matter. or bill the fuckwit , or john the "im not very computer illiterate" (yes, they say "not illiterate" because they once heard someone say "im not computer literate" and didnt know what the work literate meant, in the same way the same people say "pacific" when they mean "specific"

      1. psychonaut

        Re: VPN?

        and another thumb down....interesting....come on, tell me why?

        ahh...its someone who is from talk talk, which probably means they don't know the difference between pacific, specific, talk talk, crap, illiterate and literate

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: VPN?

          and another thumb down....interesting....come on, tell me why?

          Have a downvote for giving a shit about downvotes.

          1. psychonaut

            Re: VPN?

            oh, i dont give a shit about the downvotes,its all gravy, i was interested as to the why though

            1. lorisarvendu

              Re: VPN?

              Never bait the REG forum about downvotes, or you'll get loads, just for the lulz.

              Like I'm now probably going to get for posting this.

            2. Triggerfish

              Re: VPN?

              Well I started downvoting your posts for amusement after you kept asking about why you were downvoted. Meh it's Friday it amused me.

              1. Triggerfish

                Re: VPN?

                OMG Downvoted!!!!

                1. psychonaut

                  Re: VPN?

                  guys...i was interested as to why....i figured id get downvoted simply for mentioning downvotes. ive got more pressing issues than to worry about it....

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: VPN?

                    You've got more pressing issues and yet have posted 6 times about your downvotes...

                    You get downvotes because you keep filling this discussion with boring self entitled shit that doesn't advance the conversation one iota. Waaah, someone disagreed with me and didn't write me a letter to tell me why.

            3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: VPN?

              Look at everyone else's posts.

              Look at your own.

              Do you see anything different about them?

              No?

              Look at Bombastic Bob's posts?

              Got a clue yet?

              1. psychonaut

                Re: VPN?

                if someone downvotes, it usually means that they dont agree with you.

                thats fine. downvotes are fine....i dont care.

                i was interested in why someone disagreed, thats all.

                maybe i should have put it another way. whatever.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seems it has now been unblocked.

    1. psychonaut

      please verify this! not because i am a pedant, but because i use teamviewer! (and a lot of my clients use talk talk because its cheap....nothing to do with me, i would never recomend it)

      1. sml156

        If you actually do have many clients that use TeamViewer there is a really quick way to find out.

        I'm guessing your trying to make people believe that you are in the IT field.

        I will let you try to to figure out if you are able to connect to your clients.

        1. psychonaut

          Wow what a cock you are. you don't think I know which of the hundreds of customers I have on TV are on talk talk do you? It's not something I record. None of my business customers are. I'm going to start randomly phoning up doris and asking if I can connect? I might be pretending I'm in IT?? Why would I bother?

          I was after some help from a fellow tech...seems like I've found some kind of idiot.

          1. psychonaut

            seems the entire planet except your self still think that talk talk are blocking TV. would love to see some evidence, reallym, geniunely would love to see it. not only just to prove you wrong but to make the extra headache that the TV block will cause me go away.

            note to self: if you ever find yourself pretending to be an IT guy to boost your morale, book yourself a one way to ticket to dignitas, its the end of the line for your brain.

            1. psychonaut

              el reg will have an update for us soon apparantly

              1. psychonaut

                great, theyve unblocked it. thanks for letting us know el reg

  8. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    switching ISP

    "This is completely unsatisfactory. If this can't be resolved then I'll have no alternative but to switch ISP and also recommend that my main clients do also."

    If you think this is the first reason to prompt you to leave TalkTalk, then you're pretty deluded. The fact their fundamentally and institutionally s**t is top of the list of reasons, and has been for a long time now.

    1. Ol'Peculier

      Re: switching ISP

      I came over here to post pretty much the same thing. It's bad enough using Talk Talk yourself, but to recommend the service to people who are paying for your advice and knowledge is staggering.

    2. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

      fundamentally and institutionally s**t

      There is no way of Gods earth they have improved THAT much

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fucking Idiots

    Perhaps they should be spending money on protecting TalkTalk customers data they were holding, rather than banning LEGITIMATE traffic over what is supposed to be an OPEN INTERNET.

    It's bad enough when ISPs are forced to block web sites by the Government on the grounds of copyright. It's a step too far to use firewalls to block legitimate traffic just because a handful of criminals are using it.

    What next? Block VPN traffic, because 'terrorists'. Block TOR traffic? Block RDP? Block SSH? Block https to stop encryption?

    You fucking clowns!

    1. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: Fucking Idiots

      Down-voted, because you are clearly literate (unlike the other swearer on this thread) and so could have expressed yourself perfectly well without the profanity.

      1. psychonaut

        Re: Fucking Idiots

        ah...its you!

        swearing is essential in these situations.

        they are not a bunch of gosh darned buttercups.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Fucking Idiots

          @pyschonaut, please watch your language?

          According to this hilarious site, you're swearing by saying "gosh darned buttercups". [I think buttercups should be OK, but you never know what will offend which sky fairy's fan club)]

          1. Kiwi Silver badge

            Re: Fucking Idiots

            Late to the thread as usual...

            According to this hilarious site, you're swearing by saying

            A commentor on the site named "Damien" I think gets the issue right, and his view is good to read. Also someone else named Richard posting in response. Worth taking a look at (even though much of the rest of the comments may be better skipped)

        2. Adam 52 Silver badge

          Re: Fucking Idiots

          Your thumb down wasn't me, for the reason given above.

          1. psychonaut

            Re: Fucking Idiots

            thanks for the link. intersting ...i mean, but jesus christ, is there no limit to the sky fairy adherant's ability to be shocked by mere words?

  10. MJI Silver badge

    Just demand Migration Access Codes

    And move.

    Is it possible to move same day?

    1. Chloe Cresswell

      Re: Just demand Migration Access Codes

      MACs don't exist to the end user anymore, now you just order the service from someone else, and they deal with talktalk.

      1. krivine

        Re: Just demand Migration Access Codes

        "... you just order the service from someone else, and they deal with talktalk."

        Where's Tony Soprano when you need him?

  11. MJI Silver badge

    Would have helped but

    My friend who is dumping them and uses TV has moved house and gone to a different ISP.

    1. Alister Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Would have helped but

      That's a bit extreme... TeamViewer isn't worth moving house for...

      1. Allonymous Coward

        Re: Would have helped but

        TeamViewer isn't worth moving house for

        Getting away from TalkTalk is.

      2. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Would have helped but

        ROFLMAO

        Actually it is because his ex girlfriend doesn't want him there.

  12. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    What a complete shower of shit wankwank are. Maybe, just maybe they should stop offshoring call centres and charge what it actually costs to run a service. It's simple logic:

    - run a service which costs less by having one component on it (indian call centres) that's fundamentally unfit for purpose. People hate them, they're useless, and they're a SECURITY RISK!!

    - run a service which doesn't have a faulty component and costs more to run.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just ringing round my support customer who I know on TalkTalk to explain the siuation and undo any damage that may reflect on my long establish legitimate company. Spoke to TeamViewer who are in no doubt regardiing the legalities of TalkTalk block.

    1. Tom Paine Silver badge

      Which way?

      Spoke to TeamViewer who are in no doubt regardiing the legalities of TalkTalk block.

      TV know that it's legal under UK law? Or illegal?

      Personally if I was paying for Internet access and then found I was getting Internet access minus one particular TCP port I'd be pretty fucked off, but then again I'm not Aunty Doris and I wouldn't fall for a scam call in the first place. Seems reasonable to segregate the Dorises onto one SP who's set up to deal with purely non-tech users. And then rest of us can stick with A&A :)

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Which way?

        Its reasonably common for an ISP to block some inbound ports. Most consumer ISPs will block inbound port 25, for example.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Which way?

          "Most consumer ISPs will block inbound port 25, for example."

          None do that I know of. Or my home Exchange server wouldn't work very well...

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Which way?

        "paying for Internet access and then found I was getting Internet access minus one particular TCP port"

        I discovered this years ago when TT took over Tiscali who'd taken over ...etc. and they decided to traffic shape Usenet to an extent which amounted to a block. I took appropriate action then. I really don't see why so many decide to stick with this serial abuser.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Elephant in the room....

    "As part of this work, we have recently blocked a number of sites and applications"

    What other sites and applications?

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Elephant in the room....

      Ah, Is your Google not working? Well, they blocked that. In fact, they blocked port 80 as well. And 443.

      In fact, in order to protect their customers, they've decided to cut all internet provision and withdraw from the ISP market all together.

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Elephant in the room....

      If you or El Reg asks them and they decline to answer, customers can't take steps to mitigate the collateral damage. That might result in some interesting legal arguments.

  15. adam payne Silver badge

    "TeamViewer has previously said it takes the security and privacy of its customers "extremely seriously" and "condemns the use of TeamViewer to subvert systems and gain unauthorised access to private data."

    Well after three hacks I should hope so, but it is a little too late don't you think Talk Talk?

    "In the forum, TalkTalk noted the number of complaints it receives from customers regarding these tools through fraudulent activities "is significant" but said it hoped to resolve the issue with TeamViewer and the other third party wares affected."

    A significant number of customers who undoubtedly had their details stolen from you Talk Talk.

    1. psychonaut

      this. exactly this. i have customers this has happened to. they know the phone number, the account details , everything. they get called by indians whio are "from talk talk" and they know all their account details.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Which is more believable:

      "TeamViewer has previously said it takes the security and privacy of its customers "extremely seriously" and "condemns the use of TeamViewer to subvert systems and gain unauthorised access to private data."

      or

      "TalkTalk has previously said it takes the security and privacy of its customers "extremely seriously" and obeys the law in all respects, especially when it comes to private data, ensuring no-one can gain unauthorised access to private data."

      Answers on a postcard. Or by email to ship_of_fools@talkcrap

    3. Tom Paine Silver badge

      "TeamViewer has previously said it takes the security and privacy of its customers "extremely seriously" and "condemns the use of TeamViewer to subvert systems and gain unauthorised access to private data."

      Well after three hacks I should hope so, but it is a little too late don't you think Talk Talk?

      If you were to try reading the quotation you just pasted into your comment, you'll see that you're berating TalkTalk for what TeamViewer said. It's a little bit unfair, dear heart. One are evidently a shower of turdbrains, the other make remote access software.

  16. Doc Ock

    What complete and utter fuckwits, gob-smacked that they could be even more incompetent than I thought they already were.

    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
      Pint

      Still, on the bright side, it's something to add to the list to churn out next time a Talk Talk rep tries to get me to sign-up in the town centre on a Saturday.

  17. Mr_Pitiful

    Well thats my family screwed

    Most of them are on TalkNotTalk so I guess fixing their problems remotely is no longer an option.

    Hurray for me, no more out of hours calls from my family

    BooHoo for me, as most of my real customers use Team Viewer to allow me access

    Can I claim from TalkNotTalk for all the Team Viewer installations that they have now blocked?

    There might be a silver lining to this cloud after all

    1. Tom Paine Silver badge

      Re: Well thats my family screwed

      Srs question, what's wrong with native RDP?

      1. Alister Silver badge

        Re: Well thats my family screwed

        Native RDP doesn't work through NAT firewalls without port-forwarding, but the main reason is you that the Home versions of Windows don't contain the RDP Server, only the client, so whilst you can connect from them, you can't connect too them.

        1. Maventi

          Re: Well thats my family screwed

          Not to mention that RDP is Windows-specific, whilst TeamViewer works on practically anything.

  18. PhilErrington

    So if you pay for remote support assistance with a company and they happen to use any of these apps it looks like you not going to be getting much remote support?

    How long before scammers switch to another remote package?

    How long before talk talk customers get all remote access banned?

    WHy don't they try utilising traffic management in a sensible way (blocking IPs that do these scams) rather than such a stupid move as blocking a whole application.

  19. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    A Trump moment?

    Seems they suddenly barred entrance to something they decided on a whim is undesirable without giving any notice and without thinking through the consequences. Just like a certain newbie president ...

    1. Mr_Pitiful
      Facepalm

      Re: A Trump moment?

      I suppose we could just coin a new phrase....

      'You've been Trumped'

    2. Wayland Bronze badge

      Re: A Trump moment?

      You're right, TalkTalk are doing what Trump is doing. A blanket block on access to stop undesirables until a more refined solution can be implemented.

  20. chivo243 Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Knee jerk jerks

    Close the roads, bank robbers and burglars use the roads to go to and from work!?

    How does this company stay in business? Do they have a monopoly? WFT icon here!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    no-one has yet commented on the last part of the article...

    Talk Talk have a website called Beatthescammers. whatever....

    Seriously, they are offering advice on not getting hacked / scammed ... just think about that for a moment.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: no-one has yet commented on the last part of the article...

      "just think about that for a moment"

      Nah I just read all the comments. Im bored now.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    TT have totally incompetent IT people

    This is the same company that blocked the whole of the cisco domain because spam being received was mainly showing as email addresses "from" cisco.com

    Alright, it is their network, so maybe turning it into an intranet is the way to go.

    But seriously? Blocking Teamviewer? Which level of management decided this? What next, blocking access to online banking to prevent users' accounts being hijacked and emptied?

  23. depicus

    The sensible option would be to block TeamViewer from IP's that are known to be used by scammers, it's not as if I and I suspect others have reported these IP's to BT, Talk Talk and Sky yet nothing ever happens. And while we're at it block the telephone numbers these people use, some of which have been active for over 3 years.

    Of course that would be sensible and easy so not likely to happen.

    1. Tom Paine Silver badge

      The problem with that approach is that the SP would end up with an enormous list of 1.2.3.4/32 DROP ACLs on their border routers, which doesn't scale.

      And no, you can't just block all Indian netblocks, for reasons I trust are obvious.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "And no, you can't just block all Indian netblocks, for reasons I trust are obvious."

        It would block TT's own support centres?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Talktalk are the best.

  25. This post has been deleted by its author

  26. Slx

    There's this horrifically dangerous app known by hackers as "the Web" which has been used to scam billions of people over the years.

    They should probably block that too.

  27. FlamingDeath Bronze badge
    IT Angle

    Seriously...

    All current customers of TalkTalk deserve all they get, there I said it

    There are only two real ISPs in this country, BT and Virgin.

    The rest are just chancers who yapped and yapped and got what they wanted through ofcom, a piece of the pie.

    TalkTalk being the absolute worst of the bunch

    1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

      Re: Seriously...

      BT have an awful lot of previous phorm and vermin media aren't that pleasant

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @FlamingDeath

      "There are only two real ISPs in this country, BT and Virgin."

      Yet the only reason why their subscription prices are reasonable (assumption on my part) is because they got competition on the market. Competitors like TalkTalk I might add.

      1. russmichaels

        Re: @FlamingDeath

        Sorry but that is nonsense. There are hundreds of ISP's and BT are one of the worst. Zen Internet by far has the best reputation.

        1. Stuart 22

          Re: @FlamingDeath

          Indeed - the ironic point being that Zen, A&A and any other decent ISP appears to be able to consistently extract and deliver a far superior service from the BT network than BT themselves has ever achieved.

    3. Wayland Bronze badge

      Re: Seriously...

      Yes you are correct in a way because BT have a monopoly on the telephone cables and Virgin have their own cables. However there are Wireless ISPs delivering superior service to BT and Virgin to rural areas and business parks.

      Business parks typically have poor ADSL Broadband because upgrading the service in a housing estate is more profitable. There are more customers in a housing estate and they demand higher bandwidth.

      1. Tom Paine Silver badge

        Re: Seriously...

        BT have a monopoly on the telephone cables

        Jesus crispy fried Christ with stuffed crust and extra anchovies... for god's sake, IF YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THE TOPIC, DON'T COMMENT ON IT.

        * sits back and waits for the upvotes**

        ** reverse psychology! Clever stuff, 'eh?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    The Linux Solution

    $ssh -X user@remotehost

  29. Kommander

    Typical ISP response to a security issue - block it and screw the rest of ya!

    As an IT engineer of some 17 years in the industry I've been using Teamviewer as a remote access tool since LogMeIn increased their costs considerably some 3 years ago. Our customers range from large businesses to home users with one desktop PC, laptop or tablet. Had it not been for remote access tools such as Teamviewer and LogMeIn I would have had to stop trading 8 years ago following a motorcycle accident which left me in hospital for 3 1/2 months and a very long recuperation period. It was tools such as these that allowed me to continue supporting my customers, fixing their problems and performing ongoing maintenance.

    However because of a security issue that was the fault of TalkTalk, they have now blocked a tool used by many legitimately because a minority group have chosen to use it to do damage to a number of their customers PC's and mobile devices. Instead of doing the intelligent thing of communicating with their customer base, informing them that they do not use this tool and to make sure they know and trust anyone who does wish to use this tool on their computer and telling their customers that there is a minority who may telephone them as a result of last years security breach claiming to be from TalkTalk and asking to gain control of their computer using this software or other similar remote access titles for nefarious means.

    This is a simple case of the cheapest solution is the best solution - because a mass mail-out to all of their customers would have been expensive, they block the software and further alienate a percentage of their customer base.

    As a result, unless TalkTalk reverses this decision I will suggest to my customers that this is a further example of bad decision making on TalkTalk's part and that they should consider changing ISP's when their current contract expires.

    1. psychonaut

      Re: Typical ISP response to a security issue - block it and screw the rest of ya!

      yeah me too - log me in did some nasty stuff and i will never go back to them. guess you got hit like me

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Typical ISP response to a security issue - block it and screw the rest of ya!

      "As a result, unless TalkTalk reverses this decision I will suggest to my customers that this is a further example of bad decision making on TalkTalk's part and that they should consider changing ISP's when their current contract expires."

      Seriously? You haven't suggested that already?

  30. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    This is hilarious...

    Not for those people who got affected by this mind you, but...

    So I wondered what kind of ISP would do this and did some research. Here is the official thread on their forums. If you read closely you'll notice that they didn't even bother to inform their support staff either.

    Several posters describe how they contacted support with their problem ("teamviewer doesn't work") and they were advised to reset their modems. One customer (into the 2nd page) even mentioned getting into "trouble" because he was using his own router instead of the provided one, so support put the blame on that.

    W.T.F.?

  31. Wayland Bronze badge

    An emmergancy response

    Teamviewer is inherently a security threat but it's useful. The problem with TalkTalk customers is that they are just the sort of people who would most need remote support and the most likely to fall for a scam. This is the easiest way to protect them until TalkTalk can come up with a fix. Perhaps a TalkTalk proxy server which vets the TeamViewer access. A bit big brother but then they are TalkTalk customers.

  32. Andy3

    I have never used TeamViewer, but I know a number of people who have reason to be grateful for it. On our little Facebook Group, some of us have had difficulty setting up a piece of USB-driven equipment, and TeamViewer has come to the rescue many times. What now? It seems wrong to issue a blanket ban just because some people misuse it.

  33. wolfetone Silver badge

    I'm Confused

    Do we still blame Dildo for this?

  34. Anonymous Git
    FAIL

    ScamScam

    Oh well... no one cares.. because no one uses them right?

  35. Computer Fixer

    Another morning wasted

    I too wasted half a day sorting this problem out. This was not helped by the fact they partially blocked access to Teamviewer's network (just enough to stop the client, not enough to make this clear). If they had put an intercept page when going to Teramviewers website stating what they had done then I might have saved hours 'repairing' every possible fault with Teamviewer on my PC. Fortunately I managed to work-around the problem by getting Teamviewer to use a Proxy the other side of TalkTalk's network. I think I will have to leave TalkTalk as this behaviour is simply not acceptable from my ISP.

    1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

      Re: Another morning wasted

      You mean you are STILL with them?

  36. Tom Paine Silver badge

    genuine question

    What does TeamViewer do that native RDP remote desktop doesn't?

    1. psychonaut

      Re: genuine question

      its very quick and easy for the customer to install. they just run an executable which you can easily send them a link for or tell them over the phone. or if you want unattended access, they have to run a slightly more complicated executable and answer a few questions, but it isnt difficult and takes a few minutes.

      they dont need a static ip / dynamic dns name , and they dont have to mess around with port forwards on their router. the average joe will not be able to do this, and would take a looooong time to tell them how to do it over the phone.

      if you are a licensed TV business customer, you can make your own custom module preset with security policies (like "only allow my account to connect to this TV client" *(really good to stop random callers from hijacking TV) and you can have all your remote customers on a single searchable list, and simply push a button to connect. it saves me hours , i could not run my business without it (or something similar)

      1. Tom Paine Silver badge

        Re: genuine question

        its very quick and easy for the customer to install.

        RDP comes with Windows, no install needed

        they dont need a static ip / dynamic dns name , and they dont have to mess around with port forwards on their router.

        oh of COURSE, yes -- that makes sense -- how dopey of me to have forgotten the NAT-infested nature of IPv4. ta :)

        1. psychonaut

          Re: genuine question

          no worries.

          rdp is great, if you already have it set up or already have a vpn etc.

          trying to get doris to do it over the the phone other hand....

        2. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: genuine question

          "RDP comes with Windows, no install needed"

          But it is disabled by default.

    2. Andy Taylor

      Re: genuine question

      TeamViewer is cross platform and doesn't require Windows at at least one end.

    3. Alister Silver badge

      Re: genuine question

      Home editions of Windows don't contain the RDP server, only the client, so you can't connect to them from another machine.

    4. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: genuine question

      "What does TeamViewer do that native RDP remote desktop doesn't?"

      Works across a firewall and / or proxy using port 80 and /or 443.

  37. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    If this trend ocntinue, we'll all have to use pcAnywhere for DOS in the end...

    1. Howard Winter

      If this trend ocntinue, we'll all have to use pcAnywhere for DOS in the end...

      (Goes to find yellow Serial-Serial cable)

  38. old_nic

    I think one can understand TT wanted to be secure, but to fail to understand that Teamviewer is an essential tool for many customers is a sign of management that are incompetent from an IT point of view. And to make that sort of change without warning is not just upsetting but could be potentially dangerous, exactly the opposite of their intention. In my case it left exposed at least one machine which was not able to be updated any other way than remotely.

    The moral for TT is to understand their customers. Why has no other ISP banned TeamViewer - there have been similar attacks. Most of these attacks rely upon computer illiteracy, similar perhaps to the TT management. The solution is easy. Make the Teamviewer IP addresses/application only available by opting in and with an appropriate warning. It will of course not completely solve the problem, but at least TT would be able to feel they had done something.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "I think one can understand TT wanted to be secure"

      I think you've put your finger on the problem. They're wanting to do something they've no previous experience with. Maybe we should put up with a few tottering steps from them.

  39. russmichaels

    They really should have sent a notice to customers since this tool is used by a lot of people to provide remote support to customers, friend and family.

    It seems quite ironic that TalkTalk care about scammers, considering they are in the scamming game themselves.

    Twice they hijacked my BT phone line without my consent or knowledge and tried to transfer it over to them and on one occasion they succeeded as BT ignored my request to block the transfer. I ended up with no phone line or broadband for several weeks with all my calls going through to someone else.

    I had to contact Ofcom to find out who had transferred my line as even BT could not tell me who they had transferred it to, it seems they will just accept a transfer request from anyone without any verification or anything, all they do is send you a letter telling you they are transferring it away unless you stop it.

  40. russmichaels

    the correct solution

    If TalkTalk management had any sense, the correct approach to deal with this problem would have been to educate customers, and send out a warning about the scam calls, and warn customers not to install Teamviewer or any other tool and that Microsoft would never be calling them period.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: the correct solution

      If they had educated customers, they wouldn't be using the clown-car that is TalkTalk

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: the correct solution

        The problem is not that people get Talktalk, but that they take over other ISPs.

        So many ISPs get bought by another that it is difficult to avoid them.

        I will admit to going BT years ago as they could actually offer ASDL in my area, stayed as they also offered FTTC first. I also had issues with other ISPs prior, when they were more unbundled than today.

        Colleague had 3 choices in his area BT, TT, or Plusnet

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just on there shitty router or?.....

    Like others have said.... That's my ability to help my family borked then,. I regularly assist parents at home and even grand parents abroad in Hungary...... I'm with TalkTalk.....

    I noticed mention of the Super router ( what a stupid name, it's a pile of shite). Have they imposed this block by control of the settings on the shitty router... Or at their end?

    1. Kevsgaff

      Re: Just on there shitty router or?.....

      Never mind, just got home and answered my own question.. its working just fine here... not using their provided router... or have they backed down on this already?

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why to TalkTalk no longer want to protect it's customers?!

    According to the latest forum thread, it's now unblocked - so by their own logic, they are opening their customers to scammers and don't care about their security.

  43. Kris Sweeney

    scam the scammers

    Had calls from the latest bunch.

    They were 'Calling from Microsoft' and started by asking me to run 'assoc' and find the zsendto CLSID as confirmation i had been 'hacked'

    They provided more evidence in the form of warnings and errors in eventlog (all normal stuff) and asked me to install TV12 and initiate a remote control session then choose to give control over... Faked some networking issues and ended the session when they asked for control and tried to draw things out when they called back in order to report it.

    TeamViewer support didn't answer their phones and they didn't respond on twitter. I had the session ID's and had a session open at the time but they didn't seem to care, this might provoke a decent response now.

    1. psychonaut

      Re: scam the scammers

      good for you mate. keep fighting the good fight

  44. darkpixel

    Shameless plug...

    Use a tool that communicates via SSH. They won't block that. https://mspdna.com/

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The block still remains on ANYDESK though

    As per title - they're blocking anydesk & still are.

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