Remote access tools – what are they?
A remote access tool is an application (or software) that is used to remotely control another computer or system. This tool can be used legitimately by system administrators for accessing the client computers. They are very useful for a vast majority of users – from system administrators, to knowledgeable teenagers helping fix their mom’s computer from thousands of miles away.
Admit it, we’ve all been there, a member of our family calls and asks us to fix/install something on their computer. But instead of going all the way to their house, you just get them to install a remote access tool and do everything from far away. How nice is that?
Why would anyone even use a Remote access tool?
The digital era has made remote connectivity a necessity for companies that want to maintain or increase their competitiveness. This is done by offering services that are available at any time and without geographical limitations.
In short, here are some advantages of using a remote access tool:
-The ability to get unrestricted remote access at any time.
-Agility in managing a wide variety of devices.
-Simplicity in the collaboration between the different members of the company.
A short list of remote access tools
You’ve all heard about it at some point, but one of the best-regarded tools is TeamViewer. TeamViewer is a comprehensive remote access application of easy deployment and simple operation.
Once TeamViewer has been downloaded the both devices, the user will be able to navigate in an easy-to-use interface where he will have access to the various functions of the application. Each TeamViewer installation will provide a unique 9-digit ID number linked to that device. As a security measure, in order to access other computers, it will be necessary for the user to share that number with the device he or she wants to access.
Here are some of TeamViewer’s advantages:
-It has an intuitive interface.
-Allows remote printing.
-Easy to document
-It integrates a function that allows you to start online meetings.
-Supports file transfer.
But there are other alternatives to TeamViewer, such as AnyDesk.
AnyDesk is a remote connection software that stands out mainly for its speed. To use it, the user must install a portable file that must then run; then to access another device, the device must share the ID of its PC. Once a session is started, users can perform various functions such as sharing mouse and keyboard control, desktop screenshots, and more.
One of the main advantages of AnyDesk is the fact that it is light, has easy to remember identification numbers and offers a “portable” version as well.
Not actual rats, but Remote Access Trojans (RATs). They can be used by a malicious user to control the system without the knowledge of the victim. Most of the popular RATs are capable of performing key logging, screen and camera capture, file access, code execution, registry management, password sniffing etc.
RAT can also be called as a synonym for backdoor, which includes a client and server program. The server or the stub program, if installed in the compromised system unknowingly by the owner of that system, then it is called as a Remote Access Trojan. So yes, unfortunately, remote access tools can be also used by malicious users.
How could you ever get infected with a RAT? Hackers can attach a RAT to a document in an email, or within a large software package, like a video game. Advertisements and nefarious webpages can also contain RATs, but most browsers prevent automatic downloads from websites or notify you when a site is unsafe.
RATs work best when they are unnoticed
Most computer viruses are made for a singular purpose. Keyloggers automatically record everything that you type, ransomware restricts access to your computer or its files until you pay a fee, and adware dumps dubious ads onto your computer for profit.
They give hackers complete, anonymous control over infected computers. As you can imagine, a hacker with a RAT can do just about anything.
As such, our recommendation would be to STAY AWAY from sketchy websites that offer you a free iPhone, Amazon voucher, or anything of that sort. Try to not click on any random clicks throughout the web, and be wary of which websites you visit. Also, be very wary of sketchy emails that you receive, containing links or attached files (never open these).
To sum up
We can say that there are two types of remote access tools – good ones and bad ones. The good ones such as TeamViewer or AnyDesk are extremely useful and can be very helpful to a multitude of users. But try to steer clear of suspicious emails and websites, to avoid getting infected by the other type of remote access tool – a RAT.