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TUCoPS :: Windows Net Apps :: win5715.htm

Citrix Metaframe security analysis
1st Oct 2002 [SBWID-5715]

	Citrix Metaframe security analysis


	Citrix Metaframe

PROBLEM published :



	Citrix is a Remote Desktop application that is becoming widely  popular.
	It is built off of Microsoft's Terminal  Services  RDP  (Remote  Desktop
	Protocol). Unlike Terminal Services, Citrixs' lines  of  products  allow
	the administrator to specify certain  applications  to  be  run  on  the
	server. This allows them to control which programs they  want  to  allow
	the end user to execute. There exists an interesting gray line  for  the
	security of citrix  applications  due  to  the  mixing  of  both  citrix
	technology, and microsoft technology. With an  application  that  allows
	users  remote  access  to  not  only  published  programs,  but   remote
	desktops, a serious threat arises.

	In this paper I will be outlining how citrix  works,  and  how  to  take
	advantage of the way citrix handles user access to programs.

	Corrections have been provided to me by Brian Madden (Author  of  Citrix
	MetaFrame XP: Advanced Technical Design Guide.) Note: I'm not  a  Citrix
	Administrator some of the descriptions of the product maybe  faulty  but
	this is not the main focus of this paper. For corrections  please  email
	me at

	.How Citrix Works


	There are multiple solutions that citrix has available and I  will  list
	them here.

	- Citrix MetaFrame

	   Citrix MetaFrame has three different suits in its

	family; XPs, XPa, and XPe. Each come with a different set of  tools  and
	applications to help the administrator. XPe is fully featured with  many
	different management options. XPa and XPe have slightly less.  For  this
	paper I will be discussing just XPe, but  most  of  these  tactics  also
	apply to the other versions. Citrix uses  XML  over  whatever  port  you
	want usually port 80 to begin communication. Citrix listens  by  default
	on port 1494 and must be connected to using the Citrix ICA client  which
	can be downloaded for free from their web site.

	- Citrix NFuse/Citrix Secure Gateway

	   Citrix NFuse allows the administrator to lock down

	applications even further by only allowing connections in through a  web
	browser. NFuse itself sits on IIS 5.0 by default but I have seen  papers
	detailing how to set it  up  on  apache.  You  probably  understand  the
	concerns regarding NFuse sitting on IIS by default and we will touch  on
	that subject later. All  communication  is  done  over  SSL  at  128-bit
	encryption, IF specified.

	A common setup with NFuse for remote access allows the administrator  to
	also implement Citrix Secure Gateway. If they properly configure  NFuse,
	the remote user should not be able to directly access the Citrix  Server
	itself. Instead, all connections are filtered through the  NFuse  server
	through the Secure Gateway connection. Here's a diagram to make  this  a
	bit easier to understand.


			      | |  |

		              |	|  +-[DMZ]-->[Citrix NFuse Server]

			      |	|     | |	    [Citrix Secure Gateway]

	                       | +----+ |              |

			       |        +--------------+


	                [Citrix Server]


	I hope that makes more sense... and you can follow my  horrible  diagram
	I probably confused you more. Now  the  user  does  not  have  a  direct
	connection to the Citrix Server but instead follows through the  DMZ  ->
	internal network. In  a  configuration  with  the  default  NFuse  setup
	(without Secure Gateway) the user first hits the NFuse web server,  then
	once the published application is established, the user makes  a  direct
	connection to the Citrix Server. You can see the problem with this,  the
	user can still *directly* access the Citrix Server and after  using  the
	published application  scanner,  gather  their  own  list  of  published
	applications  and  then  create  their  own  .ica  file  containing  the
	information they specify. This also means, if this configuration is  for
	an external network, two holes are punched  through  the  firewall,  one
	for the IIS server *shudder* and one for Citrix. You can scan port  1494
	to see if this holds true.

	Citrix MetaFrame usually has a very  helpful  management  console  which
	enables the administrator to set users  and  publish  applications  with
	relative  ease.  A  citrix  network  without  NFuse   uses   Independent
	Computing Architecture (.ICA) files which is a text based document  that
	contains all of the configuration options and settings. These files  are
	given to the end user who, after having  the  citrix  client  installed,
	clicks on the file and automatically connects to  the  server  specified
	in the .ica file.

	If NFuse is in use, then these .ICA files are usually  not  required.  A
	user opens a web browser, goes to the  NFuse  web  server  and  logs  in
	using his Domain/NT account. After this is successful the user is  given
	a list of applications which they may  use  to  access  the  servers  or
	Citrix Farm.

	.Peeling Citrix Back


	There are so many ways to get a remote desktop  on  a  citrix  host  its
	impossible for me to know where to begin.  I  imagine  the  first  thing
	people want is remote access so let us begin there. Recently  Ian  Vitek
	of ixsecurity has released some very helpful perl tools. I use  these  a
	lot now and I must give him props on  them.  The  tool  I  use  most  is
	Citrix published application scanner [you can find these tools at:].


	This tool enumerates the published applications that are allowed on  the
	remote server. This comes in handy when  you're  'knocked  out'  of  the
	regular login process, such as a script  to  automatically  log  a  user
	out. After getting a list of the published applications,  you  can  then
	modify your ICA file with  the  published  application  information.  At
	this point you can attempt to brute force login attempts,  I  personally
	find backup accounts to be very helpful. If you find  a  'test'  account
	or backup account has a guess able  password  you're  in  luck.  I  find
	variants of test and citrixtest almost always existent.

	So lets assume at this point you have access to the citrix  server.  And
	lets suppose you are denied  login,  maybe  guest  doesn't  have  enough
	privileges to follow through the login process. Now,  if  you  used  the
	citrix application scanner and gathered a list of applications try  this
	trick. I haven't seen this published and maybe this is a citrix flaw  or
	maybe its expected. But citrix appears to only look at the  [Application
	Name] in the .ICA file when verifying which application to run. So  here
	is a regular published application file:












	WinStationDriver=ICA 3.0




	So what happens if we modify the InitialProgram from #word  to  cmd.exe?
	or explorer.exe? Well, it happily runs what ever application we  specify
	in that field. I've used this tactic numerous  times  to  bypass  faulty
	login processes. Just make sure that the  application  in  the  brackets
	and the Address is legitimate  otherwise  you'll  get  some  interesting
	errors. So now we have a remote command prompt on the citrix server.  Or
	if you like a gui and you decide you want this after  you  run  cmd.exe,
	no problem just type in explorer.exe you'll get a little prompt  stating
	that you are now starting a seamless remote desktop session :).  So  now
	you have a desktop. I'd hope at this point  you  would  know  enough  to
	elevate your privileges so I will not cover that aspect. An  interesting
	note, even when I logged in as guest to a citrix server, I was  able  to
	access the Administrative tools. Obviously this is rather  alarming  and
	to be honest I myself was rather surprised. I'd suggest looking  at  the
	user accounts to see if you can  find  more  accounts  that  would  most
	likely have default/easily guessed passwords.  Never  underestimate  the
	power of shitty  password  choosing.  Just  so  you  know  you  are  not
	*really* administrator, just try changing a password.

	So what  if  they  are  using  NFuse  with  Citrix  Secure  Gateway  and
	filtering all traffic through a firewall? Then you can not  modify  your
	.ica file in this aspect. Once again there are multiple ways of  getting
	a remote desktop. A lot of times citrix  administrators  have  published
	applications such as office. What a wonderful piece of software. If  you
	have  access  to  excel,  look  into  vbscript   macros   for   starting
	explorer.exe. Or if your lazy like me, just View as Web page. This  will
	open Internet Explorer and allow you to  execute  C:\winnt\explorer.exe.
	This trick also works for Microsoft  Word  and  I  assume  other  office
	products. In fact, most  programs  have  a  help  ->  View  online  help
	option. So this will also execute Internet Explorer if it is set to  the
	default browser. Another issue is 'winhelp32', most programs  have  this
	built in, and guess what? You  can  "Jump  to  URL."  Now  you  can  put
	cmd.exe on a remote web server, jump to the url and download it. If  you
	have write access your set. Modify your .ica file to execute  this  upon
	logon and you now have your shell.

	If you compromise a machine that has  citrix  installed,  and  you  have
	sufficient privileges, Citrix stores all  of  its  connections  for  the
	Citrix Program Neighborhood in a well known directory.

	- In NT4 browse to

	%systemroot%\profiles\username\Application Data\

	- In Win2k browse to C:\Documents and

	Settings\username\Application Data\


	steal the ICAClient directory and copy it to your

	%systemroot%\profiles\youruser\Application Data\ or

	C:\Documents and Settings\profiles\youruser\Application Data\ 


	and then open Citrix Program Neighborhood. You'll  notice  all  of  that
	users connections. If they are using Citrix chances are  they  are  lazy
	as well and  most  likely  cache  their  passwords.  Use  Revelation  or
	another 'password reveler' and viola you have their  password  for  that

	Sniffing  is  yet  another   concern,   dsniff   has   citrix   sniffing
	capabilities  and  this  may  become  a  real  problem  when   used   in
	conjunction with arp cache poisoning.



	.Securing Citrix


	First off I'd like to say good luck. Here are some tips  that  may  help
	an administrator locking down a Citrix Server.  I  spent  the  last  few
	days attempting to come up with a magical Group Policy for windows  that
	will lock programs down. The goal is to make it so a user  may  not  use
	any programs which may be used  to  upload  or  transfer  files  to  the
	citrix host.

	- Securing Externally

	1. Use the NFuse / Citrix Secure Gateway configuration such as  the  one
	I displayed earlier in this text.

	2. Make sure  the  IIS/Apache  server  is  completely  locked  down  and
	resides in the DMZ. Require .htaccess or  NTLM  authentication  to  even
	access the webroot of the NFuse server.

	3.  If  possible,   require   remote   users   to   use   SecureID   for
	authentication. This gets pricy so is most likely not  going  to  be  an
	option for most people.

	4. Use a different browser than  Internet  Explorer  per  default.  Most
	applications use the "default browser" for online  help  pages.  If  you
	install Netscape and set this as the default browser they  will  not  be
	able to execute applications such as cmd.exe/explorer.exe.

	5. Make a group and put all remote citrix  users  in  this  group.  Deny
	access (using ntfs) to cmd.exe, ftp.exe, tftp.exe, rcp.exe, net.exe  and
	any other programs that they  may  execute  to  transfer  files  to  the
	citrix server. I did not test  whether  or  not  this  may  break  login
	scripts so be sure to test this before it is put in to production.

	6. Keep up to date on all patches for your citrix server,  If  you  keep
	up to date on your patching you'll not need  to  worry  about  privilege
	escalation exploitation.

	7. Since there  are  ways  to  bypass  the  'default  browser'  such  as
	winhelp32. You can attempt  to  set  security  settings  under  internet
	options  to  restrict  to  only  allow  certain  web  pages.  This  will
	hopefully disallow someone from downloading their own cmd.exe.

	8. Although I've not attempted this and it  may  only  work  in  certain
	situations. Disallow write access to the citrix server itself. This  way
	they can not upload their own  files.  This  may  only  be  possible  to
	achieve if you also disallow users mapping their drives to  the  server.
	Remember, users can map their drives and  run  their  tools  from  their
	local machine. I'm quite sure this runs  under  the  citrix  localsystem
	context, I may be incorrect on this point.

	9. If possible, disallow users from mapping their  drives.  You  can  do
	this via the Citrix Connection Configuration double  click  on  ica-tcp,
	select 'client settings.' And select the necessary boxes.


	The following fixes have been provided to me by  Brian  Madden.  One  of
	these fixes will disallow the changing of the  InitialProgram.  I  thank
	Brian again for bringing these to my attention.

	1. Disable MetaFrame XP server broadcast response. CMC | Right-click  on
	farm | MetaFrame Settings tab | Uncheck the two boxes in the  "Broadcast
	Response" section. This will prevent that perl scanner from working.

	2. Configure your MetaFrame XP  servers  so  that  users  can  only  run
	published applications.

	(Citrix Connection Configuration | double-click "ica-tcp"

	| Advanced button | Check "Only run published

	applications" in the "Initial Program" section). 


	I'd suggest first adding a published application  for  'remote  desktop'
	and only allow administrators to use this feature.

	3. This exploit does work on  MetaFrame  XP  with  Service  Pack  2  and
	Feature Release 2. (The most recent version)

	- Securing Internally

	   Try using the same steps as listed for external, if you

	can segment your network access via a firewall + citrix  secure  gateway
	you are much better off then leaving it on the same segment. Other  than
	that I know of no real good procedures for securing internally.

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