Citrix sheds light on six-month-long hack

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US-based virtualisation company Citrix has provided details of the hack which went undetected for six months.

The company wrote a letter to the California attorney general saying it believes cyber criminals had intermittent access to its network between 13 October 2018 and 8 March 2019.

Citrix, which has a local business unit, had not revealed if any South Africans were affected by the hack at the time of publishing.

Citrix Systems is an American multinational software company that provides server, application and desktop virtualisation, networking, software-as-a-service, and cloud computing technologies.

Its solutions are claimed to be in use by over 400 000 clients worldwide, including 99% of the Fortune 100, and 98% of the Fortune 500.

In a letter, addressing current and former employees, Citrix says: "I am writing to inform you that personal information about you may have been involved in the recent cyber attack on Citrix. This notice contains information about the incident that occurred, as well as services Citrix is providing and additional steps you can take to protect yourself against any potential misuse of your personal information.

"We deeply regret that this incident occurred and take the security of employee information seriously."

Describing what happened, Citrix says on 6 March 2019, the FBI informed the company it had reason to believe international cyber criminals gained access to Citrix's internal network.

Following receipt of this information, Citrix immediately launched an investigation, which remains ongoing, it notes.

"We currently believe the cyber criminals had intermittent access to our network between 13 October 2018 and 8 March 2019, and that they removed files from our systems, which may have included files containing information about our current and former employees and, in limited cases, information about beneficiaries and/or dependents."

It explains that this information may have included, for example, names, social security numbers and financial information.

"Out of an abundance of caution, we are providing this letter to current and former employees of Citrix to alert them of this incident. We will notify you if your beneficiaries or dependents were impacted.

"We have engaged leading cyber security firms to assist our internal team with its forensic investigation, and we are co-operating with the FBI in connection with their investigation of the cyber criminals.

"We have taken measures that we believe are designed to remove the cyber criminals' access to our systems, and we are monitoring for signs of further activity or compromise. We are also providing resources, explained in this letter, to help protect against potential misuse of your information."

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