Germany is something of a strategic base for international cybercrime and money laundering. It has been known not only since the collapse of the former FinTech star Wirecard that Germany makes considerable contributions to the prosperity of the international cybercrime and scammer scene. Dozens of illegal German payment processors like B2G, TrustSecure, or StronIT are facilitating scams in plain sight of law enforcement. The German software company AnyDesk Software GmbH provides a highly efficient remote access software to empower fraudulent boiler room agents. Using AnyDesk, boiler room agents can directly access the money of the customer’s victims and act as if it was the victim himself. AnyDesk is a destructive tool for the victims of scammers.
In the questioning of the victims in the Vienna Cybercrime Trials against the Israeli Gal Barak, the alleged Israeli head of an international cybercrime organization around E&G Bulgaria, it became clear that AnyDesk was the digital tool used as a terribly efficient weapon by the fraudulent boiler room agents. The witnesses described that they were pressured by the boiler room agents to install AnyDesk. Once installed, the victims were urged to open the dashboard during the numerous phone calls with the alleged “investment advisors” or “brokers” (aka agents) of the involved boiler rooms. The witnesses could then watch as the boiler room Agent began clicking around in their dashboard without asking for permission.
The European Funds Recovery Initiative (EFRI), co-founded by FinTelegram, currently represents almost 1,000 victims of these scams and is also represented at the Vienna Cybercrime Trials as a private prosecutor. Elfriede Sixt, EFRI principal, has heard the testimonies of the witnesses. However, she has heard these complaints about AnyDesk many times before from hundreds of victims explaining how the fraud happened.
Consequently, EFRI has written an open letter to AnyDesk to warn the company and the public.
Elfriede Sixt, EFRI Principal
AnyDesk knows the problems. They are well aware that their software is being used by criminal organizations and financial cybercrime to defraud customers. Victims have already contacted AnyDesk directly but without response. In my opinion, the company must do something about the use of their tools by cybercriminals. At the same time, AnyDesk’s customers must be aware of the enormous risk they run by using AnyDesk. Hence the open letter.
Of course, the production of weapons or tools does not automatically make the manufacturers responsible for the crimes committed with them. AnyDesk is a digital tool that is used as a weapon by cybercriminals. AnyDesk should handle this weapon with the appropriate sensitivity and control its use. We will report on AnyDesk‘s reaction if any.