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Security Bulletin: IBM WebSphere Application Server Liberty for IBM i is vulnerable to man-in-the-middle spoofing attack (CVE-2022-39161)

Security Bulletin


IBM WebSphere Application Server Liberty for IBM i is vulnerable to a man-in-the-middle spoofing attack as described in the vulnerability details section. IBM i has addressed the vulnerability in IBM WebSphere Application Server Liberty with a fix as described in the remediation/fixes section.

Vulnerability Details

CVEID:   CVE-2022-39161
DESCRIPTION:   IBM WebSphere Application Server 7.0, 8.0, 8.5, 9.0, and IBM WebSphere Application Server Liberty, when configured to communicate with the Web Server Plug-ins for IBM WebSphere Application Server, could allow an authenticated user to conduct spoofing attacks. A man-in-the-middle attacker could exploit this vulnerability using a certificate issued by a trusted authority to obtain sensitive information. IBM X-Force ID: 235069.
CVSS Base score: 4.8
CVSS Temporal Score: See: for the current score.
CVSS Vector: (CVSS:3.0/AV:A/AC:H/PR:L/UI:N/S:U/C:H/I:N/A:N)

Affected Products and Versions

Affected Product(s)Version(s)
IBM i7.5
IBM i7.4
IBM i7.3


The issue can be fixed by applying a PTF to IBM i.  IBM i releases 7.5, 7.4, and 7.3 will be fixed.
The IBM i PTF numbers for 5770-DG1 contain the fix for the vulnerability.

Important note: IBM recommends that all users running unsupported versions of affected products upgrade to supported and fixed version of affected products.


Enabling hostname certification validation:

The HTTP Server communicates with the integrated application server and integrated web services server using the Liberty plug-in, which is an HTTP Server module that is dynamically linked and loaded to extend the nature of the HTTP Server. The vulnerability manifests during communication over a secure connection between the HTTP Server and the application server, where the plug-in could allow an authenticated user to conduct spoofing attacks. A man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacker could exploit this vulnerability using a certificate issued by a trusted authority to obtain sensitive information.

For users that have an HTTP Server that submits client requests to integrated application servers or integrated web services servers, and communications between the HTTP Server and the integrated application server/integrated web services server is over a secure transport (TLS is enabled), an option exists to indicate whether the application server plug-in performs additional validation of the certificates provided by the application servers. Prior to this fix, the plug-in did not validate the hostname presented in an application server certificate. The plug-in compares values from the certificate (Common Name, SAN DNS names, SAN IP addresses) to values contained within the plug-in configuration file. To enable hostname certification validation, use the QShell script, located in directory /qibm/proddata/os/ApplicationServer/bin.


To enable integrated web services server WSERVICE to allow certificates with DNS names of,, run the script with these parameters. -operation *UPDATE -server WSERVICE -secureHostVerification true -hostAliases,

To enable hostname certification validation for the HTTP Web Administration Server, specify *ADMIN for the -server parameter.



Workarounds and Mitigations


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Change History

20 Oct 2023: 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:
20 October 2023