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Is there a historical justification for why every security program in the world blocking remote assistance? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Many times I am on the phone with a friend or family member trying to talk them through configuring their computer, or helping them debug some performance issue. Everytime I try to get them to use Remote Assistance, and they are always able to send me the invitation, but I have yet to be sucessfull in establishing a Remote Assistance connection. I've been able to get people to connect to my machines, as I try to narrow down the problems, so the only conclusion I can come to is that every firewall, and software securty suite in existance always blocks Remote Assistance. We've tried disabling every firewall, etc. But paranoid people can have multiple firewalls running, and they don't know how to configure them, and it's a big mess.

    So I was wondering. Is there some justification for why everything blocks Remote Assistance. I haven't been able to find a virus definition which used Remote Assistance to silently transfer from one computer to another. Does anyone know of any evidence that Remote Assistance being part of security hole?

    Saturday, August 30, 2008 2:05 AM

Answers

  • Hi

     

    I'm not an expert on Remote Assistance, but to answer your question.

     

    The original intent of firewalls was to stop a hacker from accessing a remote computer or networks for malicous reasons.

     

    So, even though Remote Assistance is something that the target computer owner can approve, it must still deal with the firewalls that are developed to protect the computer you are trying to access.

     

    Firewall::
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firewall

     

    Hope this helps.


    If this post helps to resolve your issue, click the Mark as Answer button at the top of this message.
    By marking a post as Answered, you help others find the answer faster.

    Ronnie Vernon
    Microsoft MVP
    Windows Desktop Experience
    Saturday, August 30, 2008 2:42 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi

     

    I'm not an expert on Remote Assistance, but to answer your question.

     

    The original intent of firewalls was to stop a hacker from accessing a remote computer or networks for malicous reasons.

     

    So, even though Remote Assistance is something that the target computer owner can approve, it must still deal with the firewalls that are developed to protect the computer you are trying to access.

     

    Firewall::
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firewall

     

    Hope this helps.


    If this post helps to resolve your issue, click the Mark as Answer button at the top of this message.
    By marking a post as Answered, you help others find the answer faster.

    Ronnie Vernon
    Microsoft MVP
    Windows Desktop Experience
    Saturday, August 30, 2008 2:42 AM
    Moderator
  • I know what the purpose of firewalls are. From your definition, it would then be the logical conclusion that Remote Assistance has been an entry point used by unwanted visitors accessing your computer. So, my question still stands, does anyone know of this happening? What's the name of the virus/malware that has used Remote Assistance as its point of entry?

     

    Tuesday, September 2, 2008 3:12 AM
  •  jader3rd wrote:
    I know what the purpose of firewalls are. From your definition, it would then be the logical conclusion that Remote Assistance has been an entry point used by unwanted visitors accessing your computer. So, my question still stands, does anyone know of this happening? What's the name of the virus/malware that has used Remote Assistance as its point of entry?

     

    I'm not aware of any malicous virus or malware that has compromised Remote Assistance, but I haven't performed any research about this.

     

    My reply was to your concern about having problems connecting with remote assistance because of firewall issues .

     

    You said:

    But paranoid people can have multiple firewalls running, and they don't know how to configure them, and it's a big mess.

     

    What I meant was that since remote assistance is designed to use one computer to access another computer over an internet connection, you are bound to have problems with Firewalls simply because, by design, their reason for being there is to prevent this type of connection, period. This is true regardless of the program you are using to establish the RA connection.

     

    Here are some links that may help.

     

    During a Remote Assistance session in Windows Vista, the administrator who is trying to provide remote assistance receives a black screen:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/937803

     

    The Offer Remote Assistance feature may not work if you do not open DCOM Port 135 in the client firewall of a Windows Vista-based computer:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/947206

     

    Windows XP SP2 Firewall blocks offers of Remote Assistance:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555179


     

    Remote Assistance and Resulting Internet Communication in Windows Vista:
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc766399.aspx


     

    Windows Vista Help: Windows Remote Assistance: frequently asked questions:
    http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/Help/398b5eda-aa7f-4078-94c5-1519b697bfa01033.mspx


     

    Discussions in Windows Networking Firewall:
    http://www.microsoft.com/communities/newsgroups/en-us/default.aspx?dg=microsoft.public.windows.networking.firewall&cat=en_US_33705571-5966-4446-87c3-318b36fe738c&lang=en&cr=US


    Hope this helps.

    If this post helps to resolve your issue, click the Mark as Answer button at the top of this message.
    By marking a post as Answered, you help others find the answer faster.


    Ronnie Vernon
    Microsoft MVP
    Windows Desktop Experience

    Tuesday, September 2, 2008 8:41 PM
    Moderator