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Security Bulletin: Tivoli Storage Manager UNIX and Linux client encryption key password vulnerability (CVE-2014-4818)

Security Bulletin


A vulnerability in the IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) UNIX and Linux clients would allow a local user to obtain the encryption key password.

Vulnerability Details

CVEID: CVE-2014-4818

IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Unix and Linux clients contain a vulnerability that would allow a local user to obtain the encryption key password used for backups and restores.

CVSS Base Score: 2.10
CVSS Temporal Score: See for the current score
CVSS Environmental Score*: Undefined
CVSS Vector: (AV:L/AC:L/Au:N/C:P/I:N/A:N)

Affected Products and Versions

UNIX and Linux clients in the following TSM versions and releases:

  • TSM through 7.1.1.x
  • TSM through 6.4.2.x
  • TSM 6.3 all versions
  • TSM 6.2 all versions
  • TSM 6.1 all versions
  • TSM 5.5 all versions
  • TSM 5.4 all versions



First Fixing
VRMF Level
PlatformsAPARRemediation/First Fix,
HP-UX Itanium,
Linux x86,
Linux pSeries,
Linux zSeries,
Solaris x86,
Solaris SPARC
IT06016Apply the fix at this link:
or apply the workaround.,
HP-UX Itanium,
Linux x86,
Linux pSeries,
Linux zSeries,
Solaris SPARC
IT06016Apply the fix at this link:
or apply the workaround.
6.3, 6.2,
6.1, 5.5, and 5.4


Upgrade to fixing release or apply the workaround.

Workarounds and Mitigations

    Step 1
    Create a user group (e.g., tsmusers) that includes all users that need to use the TSM UNIX or Linux client.

    Step 2
    Restrict access to the stored encryption key password by restricting access to the client Trusted Communications Agent (TCA) by using the user group created in Step 1.
    1. Use chgrp to change the ownership of dsmtca to include the tsmusers group.
      chgrp tsmusers dsmtca

    2. Use chmod to set the execute bit for the group so that anyone in the tsmusers group can run dsmtca.
      chmod 750 dsmtca

    3. Use chmod to set the SUID bit for dsmtca so that users in the group can run it with elevated privileges.
      chmod u+s dsmtca

    4. Verify that the group has the execute bit set for the dsmtca file using:
      type ls -l dsmtca

      The output from this command shows that the SUID bit (s) is set for dsmtca in the user field and that the execute bit (x) is set in the group field.
      -rwsr-x--- 1 root tsmusers 13327961 2011-05-19 08:34 dsmtca

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The vulnerability was reported to IBM by Bartlomiej Balcerek from WCSS CSIRT

Change History

20 April 2015 - Updated to include Remediation/Fixes for 7.1
05 May 2015 - Updated Title, Summary, and Vulnerability Details to indicate UNIX and Linux clients only.
09 July 2015 - Updated Remediation/Fixes to add link to 6.4.3 fix.

*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.

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Document Information

Modified date:
17 June 2018