Yesterday news stories started sprouting like mushrooms, stating that TeamViewer, (a programme widely used by techies to remotely access computers) had been hacked.

The reports came following an outage of TeamViewer services caused by a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack earlier this week.

According to The Register, “miscreants gained control of victims’ TeamViewer web accounts, and used those to connect into computers, where they seized web browsers to empty PayPal accounts, access webmail, and order stuff from Amazon and eBay.”

But the German firm has released a statement saying that its site was not hacked. Instead, it said, users are to blame for the breach.

The statement, which has been, which has been posted on the firm’s website reads, “Some online media outlets falsely linked the incident (the DDoS attack) with past claims by users that their accounts have been hacked and theories about would-be security breaches at TeamViewer. We have no evidence that these issues are related.”

Now, on Wednesday 1st June, TeamViewer did experience a DNS outage due to a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack but it says that the incident did not compromise any of its secure data.

So what then caused users to have their PayPal accounts to be unceremoniously drained? Well, according to TeamViewer, the users themselves.

The firm lists users using the same password across multiple websites and services and unintentionally downloading and installing malware that may be lurking in affiliate or adware bundles as the cause of some users being hacked.

Browsing through the TeamViewer sub-reddit reveals that actually, the firm might be right on this one.

One user claimed they were hacked on May 31st, the day before the DDoS attack on TeamViewer. Other users claim they used the same password they do for other accounts and that those account details had been posted online by malicious individuals.

Further to this many users don’t seem to have two-factor authentication enabled on TeamViewer which is just plain silly when you consider that the programme is being used to full access another PC that could contain sensitive information.

At the moment then it appears that TeamViewer wasn’t hacked. Mostly because there are very few instances of people who use unique passwords, have two-factor authentication claiming to have been hacked.

The lesson here then is to always use a unique password, enable two-factor authentication for everything that supports it and most importantly, don’t be so quick to call “hack” when you might just have been careless.

[Source – TeamViewer] [Image – SA BY/2.0 hackNY.org]