Software // Enterprise Applications
02:46 PM
Connect Directly
Core System Testing: How to Achieve Success
Oct 06, 2016
Property and Casualty Insurers have been investing in modernizing their core systems to provide fl ...Read More>>

Security Researcher Warns About Citrix Vulnerability

The flaw could allow an attacker user-level access to execute remote commands on Citrix servers.

A security consultancy has identified a vulnerability that could allow an attacker to gain "user access level on integrated remote Citrix servers."

GnuCitizen, which identifies itself as a "cutting-edge think tank" and a "creative hacker organization," has posted a warning about a cross-site request forgery attack that can be made in conjunction with a malicious Web site to trick a Citrix user into opening a specially crafted Citrix independent computer architecture (ICA) file that would compromise his or her system.

If successful, the attacker could gain the ability to execute remote commands at the victim's access level.

"The success of the attack [relies] on the fact that the victim (the proxy) is part of a Citrix ring to which he/she can perform pass-through authentication," explains Petko D. Petkov, founder of GnuCitizen and its lead researcher, in a blog post. "Once a connection is instantiated, the victim will unwillingly and transparently login into Citrix and perform several commands specified by the attacker. The attacker can simply instruct the remote desktop to download files from a remote TFTP server and execute them locally. Once the attack is performed, the local connection is terminated and the Citrix session is cleared. No user interaction is required!"

In an e-mail, Petkov characterized the vulnerability as quite severe. "It is a remote command execution attack which cannot be easily fixed, mainly because it relies on features rather than bugs," he said. "If the attacker tricks a user from the targeted network into visiting a malicious Web site or opening a specially crafted ICA file, then they might be able to gain access to critical corporate assets. The attack is very simple and highly effective. Citrix is also a very popular platform. This makes this issue extremely problematic."

Petkov said that while he doubts the vulnerability is widely known, "anyone with the right methodology and mindset will be able to rediscover it."

Citrix said in an e-mailed statement that it "has become aware of recent blog postings relating to insecure deployment of Citrix products." The company said that while no specific vulnerability was identified, it recommends that its customers follow the security practices outlined on its Web site.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial Services
IT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.