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May 7, 2008

AAC hotfix AAC450W003 and CAG hotfix 4.5.7 available

A few days ago, Citrix released the hotfixes AAC450W003 and hotfix AG2000_v457. Beside a couple of bug fixes, there are some really interesting things in these releases:

Hotfix AAC450W003 invalidates some parts of my last posting in “AAC tuning, part 3”. A couple of months ago, i asked Citrix to allow customers to change the caption of the RADIUS input box on the logon page. In my last article i showed a way to change the caption easily for RSA and SafeWord deployments and pointed out a way to change the text with a little script in case of another RADIUS solution. However this solution had some unwanted side effects and so i’m glad that Citrix came up with a solution for all deployments. The procedure described in the first section of “AAC tuning, part 3” stays valid but is now applicable for all RADIUS deployments too, given you installed hotfix AAC450W003 correctly.

Vista is now supported with AAC 4.5, but it is still beta. This means, that you are now able to check Vista clients through EPA-scans, provided by Citrix. My first tests have been successfull. CAUTION: If you use EPA-scans from EPAFactory/Accario you have to wait for an update from Accario to support AAC 4.5 HF03. This should be available around the 20th of Mai.

The list of supported AV scanner and personal firewalls has become a little longer. McAfee 8.5i, Symantec AVE 10.0, Symantec Endpoint Protection 11.0 and Trend Micro 8.0 are now officially supported at last.

The download and readme for AAC can be found here: CTX117123, AAC45W003

The download and readme for CAG 4.5.7 can be found here: CTX117123, Hotfix AG2000_v457


May 23, 2007

AAC tuning, part 1

Is there any AAC admin happy with the way, EPA scans behave? Once you create just one EPA scan in the AMC (Access Management Console), the EPA scan gets started automatically on every LogonPoint, regardless whether this is wanted/needed or not.

This behavior is for example very annoying at OWA (Outlook Web Access) LogonPoints, that are created only to allow restricted access to the personal mail from anywhere. To operate “client less” from anyplace, anywhere, no EPA scans may be required. On a standard LogonPoint the EPA scan appears anyway with his download and installation directions. If you click on the “Skip Scan” button, you can proceed without scanning your PC, but the download of the EPA scan client still takes place in the background, steeling you valuable bandwidth. In addition, less computer versed users in an internet cafe with restricted PCs might end up trying to install the EPA scan client over and over without a chance to succeed…

Recently I stumbled upon an option that is able to stop this “misbehavior”. Well hidden and badly documented, the chances are good, that only few people discovered this option so far. The solution can be found in the “web.config” file in the root of the respective LogonPoint directory.

On a standard AAC server this is presumably:


There is an other version of this file in the “C:\Inetpub\wwwroot\CitrixLogonPoint\” directory which should stay untouched !

This file can be opened and edited with any editor like the Windows NotePad. In the last third of the file you can find a section <appSettings>, which gives you some interesting possibilities. Among other things you can disable EPA scans here. All it needs is to add the following line below the <appSettings> section:

<add key=”EndpointAnalysisDisabled” value=“true” />

The section should look like this afterwards:

<add key="DebugConsoleTrace" value="False" />
<add key="AdvancedGatewayClientDownloadUrl" value="" />
<add key="AdvancedGatewayClientActivationDelay" value="10" />
<add key="MaxConnectionsToAuthenticationService" value="20" />
<add key="LogonPointId" value="00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000" />
<add key="DeployedBy" value="LACONFIG" />
<add key="ExtendedSecurIdFunctionalityEnabled" value="true" />
<add key="SecondaryAuthenticationIsOptional" value="false" />
<add key="EndpointAnalysisDisabled" value="True" />
<!- -

After saving the changes, a user calling this manipulated LogonPoint will now be forwarded immediately to the login prompt without seeing any EPA “nag screen” 🙂

AAC tuning, part 2 >>

!!! Please read the first comment to this post !!!


March 14, 2007

Registry Scan (Watermark) for CAG 4.5.x Advanced

Most people who know Citrix Access Gateway (CAG) with Advanced Access Control (AAC) for a while, especially version 4.2, know the “Citrix Watermark” End Point Analysis Scan (EPA Scan). A possibility to configure the security group membership of a PC withe a simple registry key. In contrast to MAC or Domain filters, this scan made it very easy to change the security context of a PC, very handy for product demonstrations, where you want to visualize different access scenarios.

The update to AAC version 4.2.5, eg. version 4.5 introduced a massive change for EPA Scans. Since then, every EPA Scan has to be signed, which renders the unsigned “Watermark” scan worthless. Every EPA Scan delivered with AAC 4.5 is now already signed by Citrix and if you try to create your own EPA Scans, you have to sign them too and build your own specific EPA Scan MSI package. Lots of customers try to avoid this effort and the costs associated with signing certificates. For Citrix partners, trying to build just a demo site, the effort and the costs are too high as well. If you do not intend to spend money on Custom Scans for example from EPAFactory, you are stuck with the scans provided by Citrix:-(

I will therefore show a way, how you can accomplish a working registry scan with the means provided by a standard setup of AAC. Most EPA Scans do in fact nothing else than reading predefined keys in the registry of the client PC. Therefore almost any EPA Scan can be used as registry scan. As an example i will use the “Citrix Scans for Windows Update” shipped with AAC. This scan reads on a client PC recursively all keys beneath:


and reports back the KB-numbers found. It must be pointed out, that keys directly below the “Updates”-key are NOT delivered back to the AAC server. You should therefore use an existing key like “SP2” to create your own KB-number key. Knowing that, it is fairly simple to create your own registry scan. A detailed description with screen shots of this process can be found here (german only).