TeamViewer confirms breaching by Chinese cyber attackers in 2016
The German software company behind the most popular software in the world, TeamViewer recently confirmed that its systems were breached by Chinese state-sponsored hackers in 2016, after a report by German newspaper Der Spiegel.
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However, the company said that TeamViewer chose not to publish a security breach notification to notify the users of the incident at the time, as their systems had detected the suspicious activities “in time” to “prevent any major damage.”
“Like many technology leaders, TeamViewer is frequently confronted with attacks by cybercriminals. For this reason, we continuously invest in the advancement of our IT security and cooperate closely with globally renowned institutions in this field,” TeamViewer said in a statement.
“In autumn 2016, TeamViewer was target of a cyber-attack. Our systems detected the suspicious activities in time to prevent any major damage. An expert team of internal and external cyber security researchers, working together closely with the responsible authorities, successfully fended off the attack and with all available means of IT forensics found no evidence that customer data or other sensitive information had been stolen, that customer computer systems had been infected or that the TeamViewer source code had been manipulated, stolen or misused in any other way.
“Out of an abundance of caution, TeamViewer conducted a comprehensive audit of its security architecture and IT infrastructure subsequently and further strengthened it with appropriate measures.
“Together with the relevant authorities and our security advisors, we came to the joint conclusion that informing our users was not necessary and would have been counterproductive to the effective prosecution of the attackers. Against this backdrop, we decided not to disclose the incident publicly in the interest of the global fight against cybercrime and thus also in the interest of our users.”
Further, TeamViewer also clarified that the hacking is no way related to another hacking event that took place in May 2016 when the users claimed that hackers emptied their bank accounts by exploiting a flaw in the software.
Back then, the company issued a press release clarifying the incident that neither TeamViewer was hacked nor was there a security hole. “TeamViewer is appalled by any criminal activity; however, the source of the problem, according to our research, is careless use, not a potential security breach on TeamViewer’s side,” the statement read.