Oct 10, 2015

What is the surveillance software module in Citrix? How do I know if it is installed on my laptop (owned by me, not by the employer)?

When I look through Installed Programs, there doesn't appear to be any surveillance software but I believe it is buried within Citrix (which I have installed on my laptop so I can work from home). I am concerned that my personal usage of my own laptop is being monitored by the surveillance software hidden in Citrix - anyone know how I can determine if the Citrix usage monitoring software is installed on my laptop? Thanks all...

Here's a response from Joel M Snyder, a senior partner at Opus One in Tucson, Ariz. and a Network World Test Alliance partner:

"The term "Citrix" is a little imprecise, because Citrix makes many products. However it is likely that the question is about XenApp, the remote desktop system that is Citrix's major product line. The component installed on the client is usually called the Citrix Receiver (sometimes XenApp client) and does NOT have a surveillance component per se.

However, XenApp DOES have a feature called "shadowing" which allows an authorized system administrator (or help desk person) to watch the session of anyone who is currently using the Citrix Receiver.

Thus, if the user is using Citrix Receiver to connect to their work systems, that usage may be monitored.

If the Citrix Receiver is not active, then there is no way that anyone can use a feature of Citrix to monitor the user's desktop.

However, this does not mean that there is not OTHER remote control software installed on the user's PC. For example, Microsoft SCCM agent also allows remote monitoring and control of user's PC (for help desk reasons). So the user may be under surveillance, but it is not Citrix XenApp Client (Citrix Receiver) that is being used---unless they are actively connected to their work systems."

- jms

You can read more from Joel on Network World here:
First, we'll presume you're using Windows, XP or above. Secondly, the module can be renamed, and there are numerous versions of it. A little detective work is needed.

You need to look at the system processes, and run each one down by name, then look them up using a search engine. See running processes by opening Task Manager to look at each running process. By clicking the Services tab, you can do the same thing. Each process can be searched, using a search engine. Some processes come and go, and the ones that are marked as stopped or not started, are not under suspicion. All of them can be found on a search engine, if you're methodical. Citrix's modules should be labeled as such, and will stick out like a sore thumb in the services tab. You can stop them from there, subject to understanding that you may, by doing so, take the responsibility for this. If the module's name in the Services tab listing is obscured, it won't say Citrix, of course. It's up to you to attempt disabling this module by Stop(ping) it. You may have to reboot, so have your work saved before you attempt doing this to any module.

You can also look inside the system registry for processes that start when the computer is started, or your username is logged in (HKLM), and this is discussed elsewhere, and is not infallible. You're advised to be wary about the repercussions of stopping any particular module, or editing the registry as they may brick your system, and your actions are your responsibility.
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