Cyber Security

How secure is TeamViewer? What role does the TeamViewer Master Server play?

TeamViewer is free for private use. Companies have to pay for the service. And with that service we may encounter a problem: The whole connection is established via the TeamViewer Server. Something is in the middle. Should we care of that? It’s all encrypted. My answer is: Yes, you should think about it.

First, remember the Public/Private Key and Digital Signature procedures.



Ok. Now let’s take a closer look to the establishment of a connection by two computers via TeamViewer.

Step 1



A and B generate a key pair.  The master receives the public keys from A and B. So far, so good …

Step 2



Wouldn’t that be the master server who knows damn much about A and B and controls all negotiations and transfers. Consider the following, little realistic, but not impossible scenario …

Man-in-the-Middle-Attack originating from the TeamViewer Master against both Computers

  1. Computer A requests the Public Key B from the Master.
  2. However, the Master does not send the Public Key B, but a falsified Public Key Y to Computer A.
  3. Computer A generates a symmetric key W, which is required for communication between A and B, and encrypts it with the falsified public key Y, instead of the public key B.
  4. Computer A tries to send the packet to Computer B via the Master. Computer A has to pass the master, because Computer A and Computer B have a connection to the master and not among each other!
  5. But the Master stops the packet. Since the packet has been encrypted with the public key Y, the master can decrypt it with the private key of Y and therefore get the “secret symmetric key” W. The Master then encrypts it again with the actual Public Key B and signs it with another falsified Private Key X.
  6. The Master sends the data to Computer B.
  7. Computer B asks the Master for the public key of Computer A to verify the signature and the Master doesn’t return the public key of Computer A, but a fake public key Z.
  8. And so the whole thing goes on and on … All communication can be read by the master …


This time I refuse saying: “Have fun playing with TeamViewer”. 😉

Categories: Cyber Security

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