Remote desktop apps and Back Orifice
January 12, 2005 3:37 PM   Subscribe

Im too good to pay for a remote desktop application so I searched for the best/most secure and found Back Oriface 2k. The problem is that now Mcafee shits it self and deletes it! Is there anyway to get McAfee to ignore or it am i going to have to uninstall Mcafee?

or - second question: Is there a better one out there that doesn't have the unfortunate reputation as being a script kiddie tool?
posted by Tryptophan-5ht to Computers & Internet (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Possibly obvious but - VNC?
posted by Mwongozi at 3:39 PM on January 12, 2005


Do you have Windows XP Professional? The Remote Desktop it includes is far better than VNC. I use it extensively. There is a free client for X too.
posted by grouse at 3:43 PM on January 12, 2005


The most obvious two have been mentioned, but there's also PCAnywhere and a whole bunch of others.

I'd go with Remote Desktop, though.
posted by Leon at 4:11 PM on January 12, 2005


I concur with VNC or Remote Desktop, depending on your situation. I will mention that Ultr@VNC is generally considered to be the best Windows variant, and TightVNC is considered to be the best in low-bandwidth situations. The original distribution is realVNC that was linked to earlier.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 4:12 PM on January 12, 2005


yeah, remote desktop roxors. I use it for all my remote needs now. (it kinda blows on XP Pro though -- only one user at a time -- Win Server 2k3 allows multiple; 'course you might not need this functionality). Not sure if Win XP Home allows remote desktop (anyone?).

If you can't use remote desktop, go with vnc or a vnc mod.

all the vnc junk is free. caveat: unless you set up vnc through SSH (which i've never done, because, well, i'd have to spend some time doing it and i'm lazy) it sends information unencrypted (AFAIK) -- whether or not you care about this is another matter.
posted by fishfucker at 4:16 PM on January 12, 2005


I'm not sure where you're getting BackOrifice from, but the original was notorious because the client installed a (secret) backdoor into YOUR computer. That said, a good ssh connection is all you REALLY need :-).
posted by onalark at 4:35 PM on January 12, 2005


LogmeIn.com has a free and very full featured client, its like gotomypc but no charge. I love it!
posted by madmanz123 at 4:42 PM on January 12, 2005


Trip: You might want to clarify what it is that you are using the Remote control for and what OS's are involved if you want recommendations on remote control programs. Presumably we are talking windows, but you never know...

Back Orifice has a rep as a script kiddie tool because that's what it is :) It can do what you want, but it's important to remember that the code was written by people who would think it was funny to fuck you over. On top of that, there are a lot of other types of malware that target BO and similar RATs (Remote Access Trojans) as an infection vector.

If you want free, go with something put out by a big company or Reputable Open Source Vendor.

I should add that I would not recommend the use of logmein or gotomypc. They may give you the functionality you want, but IMO those services are a security accident waiting to happen. We routinely council clients not to allow those products on their networks because it is basically an open pipeline for anyone that figures out how to game their systems
posted by ad hoc at 5:05 PM on January 12, 2005 [1 favorite]


I'd like to 2nd UltraVNC as a candidate. I use it on all the computers on my employers network, and it works wondrously. One of my favorite features is file transfer... most handy tool.

You can even push vnc installs onto other computers.
posted by jackofsaxons at 5:38 PM on January 12, 2005


BO2k is a trojan in the sense that it allows remote users to target and exploit machines that are running it. Another caveat: I'd bet that it's not totally deleted- you might have to go into regedit and delete some keys. Spybot S&D is a safe bet to get rid of it.
posted by exlotuseater at 6:08 PM on January 12, 2005


I like the tightVNC project a great deal and have donated to it, reported bugs, etc. If you're going the VNC route, I'd strongly suggest you try it first.

Now, there's an important difference between VNC and remote desktop. Assuming you have remote desktop you might want to go with it because unlike VNC, it doesnt just take bitmaps of the screen and find a way to send them to you as fast as possible, it uses the system calls that actually paint the screen and sends them to your client, thus its a lot faster.

RD I believe is only for XP Pro and Windows Server 2000/2003 (its called terminal services). XP Home does not have it, but it has something similiar called remote assistance which really wont do you any good.

The advantages of remote desktop are built in encryption along with speed. The downside is that you're letting a Microsoft service run on your computer, open to the world. I would be hesitant to leave RD on a machine I cared about considering MS's track record. Of course tunneling through a VPN or an ssh tunnel takes care of this.

If youre not security paranoid then remote desktop is a pretty good solution. If you dont have RD, then tightVNC is a pretty good solution.
posted by skallas at 6:31 PM on January 12, 2005


If I want to use Remote Desktop between 2 XP boxes which are not on the same network, do I first need to establish VPN access between them? Is there a native way to do this in XP, or do I need to download something?
posted by signal at 6:33 PM on January 12, 2005


The advantages of remote desktop are built in encryption along with speed.

Does this mean that if I want to use Remote Desktop to access my home computer from my work computer, my work IT people can't snoop my traffic (short of a keylogger on the work machine)?
posted by gd779 at 7:08 PM on January 12, 2005


*puts on free tech support hat*

>do I first need to establish VPN access between them?

The computer you need to access must have an IP address and have port 3389 accessible/forwarded. So if it is behind a firewall, you will need some solution to get past it like a VPN tunnel or having the admin forward port 3389.

>my work IT people can't snoop my traffic

Correct. Can RD encrytion be cracked? Dunno. At high encryption it uses RC4 with a 128-bit key.
posted by skallas at 9:48 PM on January 12, 2005


Since this seems to be the "yay VNC" thread (to which I concur), can anyone recommend a better VNC server for OS X? Compared to a Windows-to-Windows connection with UltraVNC, an UltraVNC-to-Mac connection seems horribly slow (at least on the OS X servers I've tried).
posted by Handcoding at 10:32 PM on January 12, 2005


The computer you need to access must have an IP address and have port 3389 accessible/forwarded. So if it is behind a firewall, you will need some solution to get past it like a VPN tunnel or having the admin forward port 3389.

But if port 3389 is blocked by a firewall, you can often use port 21 or 80 (assuming you don't need these for their usual purpose). Changing the port that Remote Desktop listens on must be done through the registry, Google will know.
posted by SNACKeR at 5:17 AM on January 13, 2005


Some clarification: BO2K was not itself a trojan, as such. It was, however, designed to be deployed as a trojan. But the same is true of many commercial remote control packages; they don't happen to be maintained and distributed by the Cult of the Dead Cow, though.

My understanding was always that if you installed BO2K yourself, you were pretty much golden. Like a lot of hacker tools, it might well be inherently unsafe (i.e., you'd be expected to secure it), but that's not the same as saying it leaves a back door.

OTOH, as you've noted, it's not "compatible" with security software. A friend evaluated BO2K seriously as a remote administration tool; he liked it a lot, but discovered that it was going to be impossible to use it since new virus-scanners had been tweaked extensively to target it. For that reason, it's more or less useless as a remote control tool, AFAICS.
posted by lodurr at 9:43 AM on January 13, 2005


Bear in mind that VNC is remote control software, which means you actually control the console. Remote Desktop, or RDP, is exactly what it is called, a remote desktop - your are NOT controlling the console, so if you need to see some sort of dialog or window that will only diplay on the console, you will not see it with RDP, unless you run it with the "-console" switch, then you are doing remote control.
posted by internal at 11:00 AM on January 13, 2005


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