Remote Support Solutions

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MichaelRSorg

Well-known member
Nov 1, 2020
88
13
RouterSecurity.org
So, on the Feb 9th show, Steve again praised Remote Utilities. So, I went to their website to see who they are and they go OUT OF THEIR WAY to say nothing about the company. Not one peep. I had to look in this file
to see they are based in Moscow which explains their avoiding the topic. I had not seen the earlier comment on this thread about the company.

Too bad. Steve seems to have fallen for a classic mistake: does the software work, vs. is it secure. Somewhat ironic since his plug for RU came right after the story of new flaws in the Solar Winds software. I have no doubt the software works, Steve gave many examples of this. But how much can we trust a Russian company especially since they are hiding their identity. Kaspersky does not hide their identity.

There are two broad schemes for architecting remote software, which I call inny and outty. The inny scheme requires opening a port in the firewall fronting the server machine and the client connects in to the server. The outty scheme has a middleman cloud service make the connection between the client and the server. Both computers phone out, so no firewall rules need to be created. If RU supports the inny scheme then it may be safe, we would have to trace its activity. If RU works on the outty scheme, I would avoid it.
 
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MrObvious

Paul
Sep 23, 2020
14
0
So, on the Feb 9th show, Steve again praised Remote Utilities. So, I went to their website to see who they are and they go OUT OF THEIR WAY to say nothing about the company. Not one peep. I had to look in this file
to see they are based in Moscow which explains their avoiding the topic. I had not seen the earlier comment on this thread about the company.

Too bad. Steve seems to have fallen for a classic mistake: does the software work, vs. is it secure. Somewhat ironic since his plug for RU came right after the story of new flaws in the Solar Winds software. I have no doubt the software works, Steve gave many examples of this. But how much can we trust a Russian company especially since they are hiding their identity. Kaspersky does not hide their identity.

There are two broad schemes for architecting remote software, which I call inny and outty. The inny scheme requires opening a port in the firewall fronting the server machine and the client connects in to the server. The outty scheme has a middleman cloud service make the connection between the client and the server. Both computers phone out, so no firewall rules need to be created. If RU supports the inny scheme then it may be safe, we would have to trace its activity. If RU works on the outty scheme, I would avoid it.
Steve may very well have worked with them for a long time. He no doubt vetted them. Perhaps Steve can comment?
 

PHolder

Well-known member
Sep 16, 2020
751
2
352
Ontario, Canada

Based on what I cannot find and what I can, you couldn't pay me to install this software. I sure hope @Steve knows what he's doing.
 
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saguaro

Member
Oct 22, 2020
22
2
Steve may very well have worked with them for a long time. He no doubt vetted them. Perhaps Steve can comment?
Unfortunately, I don't think he will. The Russia connection has been brought up several times and, well, "crickets." (It's kinda funny that the company abbreviation is "RU". Maybe they should register ru.ru?)
 

saguaro

Member
Oct 22, 2020
22
2
So, on the Feb 9th show, Steve again praised Remote Utilities. So, I went to their website to see who they are and they go OUT OF THEIR WAY to say nothing about the company. Not one peep. I had to look in this file
to see they are based in Moscow which explains their avoiding the topic. I had not seen the earlier comment on this thread about the company.

Too bad. Steve seems to have fallen for a classic mistake: does the software work, vs. is it secure. Somewhat ironic since his plug for RU came right after the story of new flaws in the Solar Winds software. I have no doubt the software works, Steve gave many examples of this. But how much can we trust a Russian company especially since they are hiding their identity. Kaspersky does not hide their identity.

There are two broad schemes for architecting remote software, which I call inny and outty. The inny scheme requires opening a port in the firewall fronting the server machine and the client connects in to the server. The outty scheme has a middleman cloud service make the connection between the client and the server. Both computers phone out, so no firewall rules need to be created. If RU supports the inny scheme then it may be safe, we would have to trace its activity. If RU works on the outty scheme, I would avoid it.
I looked them up some months ago because RU is recommended on some sysadmin sites, and found the same thing. You have to Google the company to see the parent location Reddit, too, has discussions of Russia origin. Asked arounds here the first time Steve mentioned them. Of course the RU connection isn't evidence that the software is compromised, but absense of evidence is not evidence of absence!

Also, the RU connection isn't exactly "hidden" but it is odd they are silent on their website. Maybe a business decision. Probably a good one, from their view.

PS: have referenced your sites from time to time; well done. Nice to make your acquaintance.
 

Intuit

Well-known member
Dec 27, 2020
84
21
Not familiar with the alleged referral. My observation is, assuming he reads these posts, he usually doesn't comment unless he has time to complete a detailed, informative response. (which I can understand because it helps deal with our human tendency to misspeak about something or other)
 

Ceyarrecks

Active member
Sep 29, 2020
27
3
TeamViewer is cool. Be ware it tries to install a service in the PC that's always waiting for connections. I prefer to kill that and only initiate connections manually. It's free for non commercial use. Don't know about the paid part. GoToMyPC which I think is owned by LogMeIn and Citrix are big names in the biz. Haven't tried them though.

I think Zoom can be used for this purpose but I'm not sure I trust it for that. Haven't tried though.

Ron
one might want to AVOID TeamViewer, as I had been using their service for many years, but of late, I discovered if one does NOT have a PAID version, there is a DISCONNECT after ~5min.
 

Ceyarrecks

Active member
Sep 29, 2020
27
3
has anyone more thorough experience with REMOTE UTILITIES? https://www.remoteutilities.com/ Mr. Gibson on SN#781 https://www.grc.com/sn/sn-781.htm referenced the utility. I did some preliminary testing, and what is NICE is that this does NOT require a third-party to coordinate connections. I had some subtle problems using the .3 DNS (anti-porn, anti-malware version of Cloudflare DNS) but RU worked fine with the .1 CloudFlare. The .3 problem was well identified and tested with RU staff, and they stated they did have a running dialog with Cloudflare to resolve the .3 problem. I have, however, not returned to said testing for many months.
 

rfrazier

Well-known member
Sep 30, 2020
304
96
one might want to AVOID TeamViewer, as I had been using their service for many years, but of late, I discovered if one does NOT have a PAID version, there is a DISCONNECT after ~5min.
@Ceyarrecks Interesting. Not being controversial, but I used TeamViewer on my end and TeamViewer Quick Support on the remote end to help a family member within the last 2 weeks. We were on much more than 5 minutes. Maybe it only does that if you're not active.

May your bits be stable and your interfaces be fast. :cool: Ron
 

JimWilliamson

Active member
Nov 15, 2020
30
10
has anyone more thorough experience with REMOTE UTILITIES? https://www.remoteutilities.com/
Since there has been no specific reply to your question in a few days, I'll jump in with this one tidbit. My only experience with Remote Utilities was wiping it off of a client computer after they were scammed via phishing. The scammer installed it / talked the client into installing it onto their WinOS system. For that first experience with it, Remote Utilities didn't start off on the correct foot with me. This isn't saying it's a bad tool - just my only experience with it to date.
 

PHolder

Well-known member
Sep 16, 2020
751
2
352
Ontario, Canada
I miss getting these calls.
Hi Barry:

This is Windows calling about the errors on your system. It's really urgent that I empty your bank account immediately to make all the problems on your system mysteriously disappear. Please may I know your admin password and have you install this remote access utility to allow me in to your life[bs][bs][bs][bs] system.
 

rfrazier

Well-known member
Sep 30, 2020
304
96
Yeah, problem is the scammers wouldn't do this if it didn't work. They are scum. Waste of oxygen. I shouldn't HAVE to worry about whether my Dad, Aunt, Grandmother (if she was here) would get trapped by this.

May your bits be stable and your interfaces be fast. :cool: Ron
 
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rfrazier

Well-known member
Sep 30, 2020
304
96
Here's something important about TeamViewer more recent editions I thought you all should know. They now start up the TeamViewer service whenever the computer starts - in case I want someone to automatically connect. I HATE that and I DIDN'T ask for it. Every time I update the version, I have to start the Services app with Admin rights, stop the TeamViewer service, and set it to manual startup mode. It will start up if I start TeamViewer. Then I have to go to the icon in the system tray and shut it down when I'm done. I still use the system when needed though. Since the remote (family) PC is using TeamViewer Quick Support, which is for being controlled, not doing the controlling, I don't think the service keeps running on their end.

By the way, the very last thing I'm going to do is poke holes in the firewall on either end. I'm glad for TeamViewer to stitch the connections together.

May your bits be stable and your interfaces be fast. :cool: Ron
 

PHolder

Well-known member
Sep 16, 2020
751
2
352
Ontario, Canada
There are 4 - 8 running up to 3 different os's at any given time
That would just get the scammer going "gold mine"!! ;) It would be funny to audit them to see how skilled they are at adapting. "I haven't been able to upgrade my Windows 3.1 machine... did you call to help?"
 
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rfrazier

Well-known member
Sep 30, 2020
304
96
How about this? I don't answer ANY phone calls for which I don't know the caller ID. If it's a scammer and they're stupid enough to leave a message, I wish a silent curse on them as I delete it.

May your bits be stable and your interfaces be fast. :cool: Ron
 

Intuit

Well-known member
Dec 27, 2020
84
21
Re TeamViewer's five minute limitation, this applies to cases where they believe that the user is in violation of their 'free use' service agreement; for example, a single install accessing a dozen different systems.
 

PHolder

Well-known member
Sep 16, 2020
751
2
352
Ontario, Canada
Clients often ask - What's the best antivirus for my computer? My answer... You!
What's the second best antivirus for your computer? ;) My answer: a tie between "your self-control" (knowing to say no to almost everything offered) and "a defense in depth." (Running untrusted code in a sandbox, for example.)
 

jkboyett2

New member
Oct 1, 2020
1
1
I use a service called FixMe.IT. It costs about $30 per month, and it works great. No special setup stuff to do. I've got a page on my web site that links to a customized FixMe.IT page with my logo and everything on it. The customer downloads a small file and runs it, and it gives them a client ID. They give that to me and I can then use it to connect to their computer. It also has the option of installing a persistent client on the pc which I can then use to access that computer whether there is anyone home or not. (It of course requires the customer to give permission by clicking a button, so it's not like I could just install it on whatever I want without customer consent.) There's no special firewall stuff to do and it's really easy to get started. Check out www.techinline.com.
 
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MichaelRSorg

Well-known member
Nov 1, 2020
88
13
RouterSecurity.org
Here's something important about TeamViewer more recent editions I thought you all should know. They now start up the TeamViewer service whenever the computer starts - in case I want someone to automatically connect. I HATE that and I DIDN'T ask for it. Every time I update the version, I have to start the Services app with Admin rights, stop the TeamViewer service, and set it to manual startup mode...

When I started using TeamViewer one of the things I liked about it was that it did not start itself automatically on Windows PCs. Over time, I grew to dislike TeamViewer and gave up on it. The fatal blow (not the only issue) for me was when a remote machine had an old version of the software and TV refused to connect to it for that reason.