Russian hacker w0rm claims to have hacked Citrix (updated)

Tom Reeve reports:

Citrix, a US software company specialising in virtualisation and cloud computing, has reportedly been compromised by a Russian hacker called w0rm.

w0rm is infamous for several attacks over the past five years on a number of high profile targets including the BBC, CNET, Adobe and Bank of America. The identity of the person or group behind w0rm is unknown.

According to a blog post (in Russian), w0rm claims to have been able to gain access to the content management system on the Citrix network via an insecure password. From there, it was able to exploit a series of security holes to gain access to the company’s administrative system including the remote assistance system.

Read more on SC Magazine UK.

I’ve often complained about how difficult it can be to get an entity to respond to notification. Keeping in mind that this Citrix compromise could have had very serious consequences for Citrix’s customers, as explained in Reeve’s coverage, consider this part of his report:

Cyberint, a cyber-security intelligence company based in Israel, said it identified the hack in October and promptly tried to notify Citrix.

According to Elad Ben-Meir, vice president of marketing at Cyberint, the company made repeated efforts to notify Citrix but received no response. In addition, the hacker w0rm tweeted Citrix with a link to its blog posting on 25 October 2015 and says it received no response. has made several attempts to contact Citrix for a comment today but at the time of publication had not received a reply.

Citrix is an American-headquartered business. I’m not saying it should be Citrix, but I would love to see the FTC go after more companies for failure to respond to multiple notification attempts, as delay in responding can leave consumers at risk of harm. The FTC has tackled this issue twice, in HTC America and Fandango enforcement actions, but more could be done until entities get the message.  I am pleased to see this issue addressed in FTC’s “Start with Security” guide for businesses, but more enforcement is obviously needed.

This post was updated post-publication to add reference to FTC enforcement actions.

Update: Citrix has posted a statement on its blog, denying any customer data was at risk. They do not explain their failure to respond to notifications in a timely fashion.

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