Update: AnyDesk has clarified that there are apps similar to “AnyDesk” that also help provide remote access to the devices of other users. It issued a statement saying, “It is rather unfortunate that AnyDesk has been used by scammers who convinced trusting users to give them access to their device and then defraud them. AnyDesk has been engineered in Germany and has a reputation of being an exceptional remote access software used by millions to legitimately connect to devices around the world. AnyDesk was abused by individuals to steal from users who did not understand the need to keep their access codes as safe as they do their personal data.
AnyDesk is an exceptionally secure software for remote connections, using banking-level security and encryption protocols. We work closely with the authorities to combat any fraud that we encounter and we are also working to educate users about how to properly secure their computers. Specifically, we urge our users to not share access codes to their devices with people they do not know.
We regret the recent incidents and we empathize with the victims. We would like to urge users to exercise the same level of caution that they do with their banking and personal data or their email or Facebook login information. If you have any questions or would like further clarification, please don’t hesitate to contact us.”
The Reserve Bank of India, in an unprecedented move, has issued a warning for all the users of online banking services in the country. The warning notes that if you are suggested to download an app named “AnyDesk” through any of the social media platforms or any other channel then do not download the application. The RBI warns that downloading this app could result in your bank account becoming empty within minutes. The warning comes as the app becomes circulated more frequently among media platforms and other channels in the country.
According to media reports, AnyDesk is a software that can take control of your bank account and do transactions on your behalf through a mobile or laptop. The warning also coincides with an alert issued by RBI on February 14, where it alerted banks about potential fraudulent transactions on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). It said that the cautionary notice was issued since it had seen a rising number of fraud using the UPI platform. The central bank, in its notice, informed the commercial lenders that a mobile app named “AnyDesk” was being allegedly used to target the mobile phone of banking customers.
The alert regarding AnyDesk was issued by the cyber security and IT examination cell of the Reserve Bank of India. The warning also added that once the app is downloaded on a mobile device, it seeks permission to access control of the device like other applications. However, when the user grants permission to the device, AnyDesk app allegedly starts to steal confidential data on the phone.
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It does so by generating a 9-digit app code on the user’s device and reportedly calls the users for the code in the name of the bank. Once the code is found, the hacker gains control to user’s device and can initiate transaction. According to Zee Business, the notice issued by RBI is not just limited to mobile payments done using UPI but also applies to other forms of mobile payments. A similar advisory was sent last month.