Traffic jams could be worse than normal, because of the Shitrix vulnerability

Graham Cluley @gcluley

Traffic jams could be worse than normal, because of the Shitrix vulnerability

I’ve been working in computer security for very nearly 30 years, and you know why it keeps my interest? There’s always something new out there to surprise me.

Take this news story from earlier this week, for instance, from The Netherlands:

Verkeer moet rekening houden met mist, gladheid en Citrix-files

Het verkeer moest maandagochtend rekening houden met een drukkere spits vanwege de kans op gladheid en dichte mist. De ANWB waarschuwde dat files vanwege de Citrix-problemen bovendien langer konden zijn dan gebruikelijk. Dat gold met name voor de Randstad.

De meeste Nederlandse ministeries haalden vrijdagavond de Citrix-servers offline vanwege een beveiligingslek, waardoor minder ambtenaren thuis kunnen werken. Hierdoor verwachtte de ANWB meer drukte op de weg. Overheidsmedewerkers gebruiken Citrix normaliter om in te loggen op het interne netwerk van ministeries.

Now, I don’t speak Dutch, but a quick whizz through Google Translate reveals:

Citrix traffic jam report

Traffic must take into account fog, slippery traffic and Citrix traffic jams

The traffic had to take into account a busier striker on Monday morning due to the risk of slippery and dense fog. The ANWB warned that traffic jams could also be longer than usual due to Citrix problems. This was especially true for the Randstad.

Most Dutch ministries took the Citrix servers offline on Friday evening due to a vulnerability, which means that fewer civil servants can work at home. As a result, the ANWB expected more traffic on the road. Government employees normally use Citrix to log into the internal network of ministries.

Wow.

Note – this isn’t a vulnerability directly causing road traffic problems, or meddling with traffic lights, or something like that. This is a vulnerability that has meant offices are preventing workers from logging in remotely, and forcing them to travel to work instead. And that could cause heavier traffic on the roads than normal.

I’ve never heard anything quite like this before.

By the way, if you (or the Dutch government) haven’t heard, Citrix has teamed up with researchers at FireEye to produce a free tool for detecting Shitrix-related compromises on your network.

Hat-tip to Kevin Beaumont who shared the Dutch news report on Twitter.

Graham Cluley Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.