IBM Support

Security Bulletin: Vulnerability in remote support authentication affects IBM SAN Volume Controller, IBM Storwize, IBM Spectrum Virtualize and IBM FlashSystem products

Security Bulletin


A vulnerability in the challenge / response authentication mechanism used by IBM remote support may allow unauthorized access as credentials can be reused on the product's management GUI.

Vulnerability Details

CVEID:   CVE-2021-38969
DESCRIPTION:   IBM Spectrum Virtualize could allow an attacker to allow unauthorized access due to the reuse of support generated credentials.
CVSS Base score: 5.6
CVSS Temporal Score: See: for the current score.
CVSS Vector: (CVSS:3.0/AV:N/AC:H/PR:N/UI:N/S:U/C:L/I:L/A:L)

Affected Products and Versions

Affected Product(s) Version(s)
IBM Spectrum Virtualize 8.4
IBM Spectrum Virtualize 8.3
IBM Spectrum Virtualize 8.2

Earlier code levels (e.g. 7.8.1) and later code levels (e.g. 8.5.0) are not affected.


IBM recommends that you fix this vulnerability by upgrading affected versions of IBM SAN Volume Controller, IBM Storwize V7000, IBM Storwize V5000 and V5100, IBM Storwize V5000E, IBM Spectrum Virtualize Software, IBM Spectrum Virtualize for Public Cloud, IBM FlashSystem V9000, IBM FlashSystem 9100 Family, IBM FlashSystem 9200, IBM FlashSystem 7200, IBM FlashSystem 5200 and IBM FlashSystem 5000 to the following code levels or higher:

Latest IBM SAN Volume Controller Code
Latest IBM Storwize V7000 Code
Latest IBM Storwize V5000 and V5100 Code
Latest IBM Storwize V5000E Code
Latest IBM FlashSystem V9000 Code
Latest IBM FlashSystem 9100 Family Code
Latest IBM FlashSystem 9200 Code
Latest IBM FlashSystem 7200 Code
Latest IBM FlashSystem 5000 and 5200 Code
Latest IBM Spectrum Virtualize Software
Latest IBM Spectrum Virtualize for Public Cloud

Workarounds and Mitigations

In order to exploit this vulnerability, an attacker would need to possess a valid set of credentials in the first place, which is unlikely as these can only be obtained by IBM support via a secure server which is used to generate the credentials. These servers are continuously updated with security patches in accordance with IBM's internal cybersecurity guidelines, and IBM is not aware of any security breaches.

Therefore, it is unlikely that this vulnerability can be exploited in practice, however to completely mitigate the risk IBM recommends one of two actions:

  1. Upgrade to one of the fixed code levels listed above.
  2. Disable the Remote Support feature.

The Remote Support feature is not enabled by default, so if you have not deliberately enabled this then you will not be vulnerable.

If you have enabled Remote Support, then this vulnerability can be mitigated by disabling it, either by running chsra -disable on the CLI or navigating to System > Support > Support Assistance in the management GUI.

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Change History

4 May 2022: 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.


According to the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST), the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) is an "industry open standard designed to convey vulnerability severity and help to determine urgency and priority of response." IBM PROVIDES THE CVSS SCORES ""AS IS"" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. CUSTOMERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF ANY ACTUAL OR POTENTIAL SECURITY VULNERABILITY. In addition to other efforts to address potential vulnerabilities, IBM periodically updates the record of components contained in our product offerings. As part of that effort, if IBM identifies previously unidentified packages in a product/service inventory, we address relevant vulnerabilities regardless of CVE date. Inclusion of an older CVEID does not demonstrate that the referenced product has been used by IBM since that date, nor that IBM was aware of a vulnerability as of that date. We are making clients aware of relevant vulnerabilities as we become aware of them. "Affected Products and Versions" referenced in IBM Security Bulletins are intended to be only products and versions that are supported by IBM and have not passed their end-of-support or warranty date. Thus, failure to reference unsupported or extended-support products and versions in this Security Bulletin does not constitute a determination by IBM that they are unaffected by the vulnerability. Reference to one or more unsupported versions in this Security Bulletin shall not create an obligation for IBM to provide fixes for any unsupported or extended-support products or versions.

Document Location


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Document Information

Modified date:
24 May 2022