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Security Bulletin: IBM Verify Gateway PAM components default to cleartext storage of client secret (CVE-2020-4369)

Security Bulletin


The IBM Verify Gateway (IVG) PAM components allow encryption of the client-secret property in the /etc/pam_ibm_auth.json file, but it's not the default configuration. Instead, customers must remember to add an --obfuscation command-line flag to encrypt the property. As of v1.0.1 of IVG for AIX PAM, and v1.0.2 of IVG for Linux PAM, the client-secret property is encrypted by default.

Vulnerability Details

CVEID:   CVE-2020-4369
DESCRIPTION:   IBM Verify Gateway (IVG) stores highly sensitive information in cleartext that could be obtained by a user.
CVSS Base score: 5.1
CVSS Temporal Score: See: for the current score.
CVSS Vector: (CVSS:3.0/AV:L/AC:H/PR:N/UI:N/S:U/C:H/I:N/A:N)

Affected Products and Versions

Affected Product(s)Version(s)
IBM Verify Gateway (IVG)PAM 1.0.0, 1.0.1


Log in to IBM X-Force Exchange / App Exchange and download and install the latest IBM Security Verify Gateway (renamed from IBM Verify Gateway) PAM components. Specifically:

Workarounds and Mitigations

Add the --obf command-line flag when running /opt/ibm/ibm_auth/ibm_authd in order to generate an encrypted version of the client secret. Then, store the encrypted version in /etc/pam_ibm_auth.json by using the "obf-client-secret" parameter. For details, see the IBM Knowledge Center topic at

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Jonathan Fitz-Gerald, John Zuccato, Rodney Ryan, Chris Shepherd, Nathan Roane, Kamil Sarbinowski, Vince Dragnea, Troy Fisher and Elaheh Samani from IBM X-Force Ethical Hacking Team

Change History

13 Jul 2020: Initial Publication

*The CVSS Environment Score is customer environment specific and will ultimately impact the Overall CVSS Score. Customers can evaluate the impact of this vulnerability in their environments by accessing the links in the Reference section of this Security Bulletin.


Review the IBM security bulletin disclaimer and definitions regarding your responsibilities for assessing potential impact of security vulnerabilities to your environment.

Document Location


[{"Business Unit":{"code":"BU059","label":"IBM Software w\/o TPS"},"Product":{"code":"SSCT62","label":"IBM Security Verify"},"Component":"IBM Verify Gateway for PAM","Platform":[{"code":"PF016","label":"Linux"},{"code":"PF002","label":"AIX"}],"Version":"1.0.0, 1.0.1","Edition":"","Line of Business":{"code":"LOB24","label":"Security Software"}}]

Document Information

Modified date:
09 March 2021