TalkTalk banbans TeamTeamviewerviewer againagain

Remote access tool blocked for second time by Brit ISP

TalkTalk customers who need to use a remote desktop tool are on the warpath after the UK ISP blocked TeamViewer for the second time this year, ostensibly in an attempt to protect users from potential scammers.

A screenshot seen by The Register showed that teamviewer.com had been blocked as part of TalkTalk's Scam Protect blocker, saying the site was used by scammers.

TeamViewer is sometimes used by ne'er-do-wells to gain remote access to a victim's computer, but it is also used by techies for legitimate purposes.

Users who complained to TalkTalk on Twitter were told the ISP was "filtering a small number of websites that are being used by scammers".

The responses also stated that users would have the ability to change the default settings for the protector in the new year, but for now could speak to their customer service team to manually enable access.

On the other side of the scam blocker, TeamViewer has yet to respond publicly to any complaints on the matter directed at it by users.

The last time TalkTalk blocked TeamViewer was in March of this year. The block lasted less than a day after customer complaints (and perhaps our own report) convinced TT to change its mind.

TalkTalk is an ISP that is necessarily mindful of security issues. It suffered a large data breach in October 2015, which leaked 157,000 users' personal details, and its users were the target of an unrelated "Indian call centre" scam earlier this year.

A search of Twitter reveals a series of complaints between March and December, concerning apparent scammers pretending to be TalkTalk representatives and trying to fool users into downloading TeamViewer.

The Scam Protection page that pops up when a TalkTalk customer tries to visit teamviewer.com specifically states that TT never asks users to access the site, which one can deduce is a reaction to these reports. ®

Updated on 20 December to add: A TalkTalk spokesperson told The Reg: “Protecting customers is our top priority. We are filtering a small number of sites that are being used by scammers to take control of customers’ computers and steal from them.

"To minimize the impact on customers we know use these sites regularly, we have excluded them from the automatic filtering. It’s possible that some customers who want to access these sites legitimately for the first time will need to contact us."

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