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Security Bulletin: Brute-force attack in ClearQuest Web (CVE-2014-3101)

Security Bulletin


IBM Rational ClearQuest Web is vulnerable to brute-force attack.

Vulnerability Details

CVE ID: CVE-2014-3101
Description: IBM Rational ClearQuest (CQ) could allow a remote attacker to bypass security restrictions, caused by an error in the login form. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability using brute-force techniques to gain access to a user's account.

CVSS Base Score: 4.3
CVSS Temporal Score: See for the current score
CVSS Environmental Score*: Undefined
CVSS Vector: (AV:N/AC:M/Au:N/C:N/I:P/A:N)

Affected Products and Versions

ClearQuest version


8.0.1 through


8.0 through


7.1.2 through


7.1.0.x, 7.1.1.x (all versions and fix packs)



Customers have been able to choose to use LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) with a password policy (lock out the account after several login failures) to prevent brute-force attacks specifically for LDAP authenticated CQ accounts. Customers can implement this on any version of ClearQuest with LDAP authenticated user accounts. However, not all accounts are typically LDAP-enabled.

As of ClearQuest Fix Pack 6 ( for 8.0.1, a built-in mechanism for brute-force protection is available that includes account lock outs. It must be configured and enabled against a Feature Level 9 upgraded database for it to take effect. For more information about this new protection feature, see How to protect your ClearQuest deployment from brute-force password attacks.

*For ClearQuest,, and newer, a one second delay is added after the login failure. This is intended to assist in delaying an attacker while giving the ClearQuest administrator more time to detect the attack and take action. This delay cannot completely prevent a brute-force attack, and customers are strongly recommended to upgrade to ClearQuest with database Feature Level 9, or newer so they can configure and use the built-in brute-force protection. Customers must make their own determination as to the risk any security vulnerability applies to their business organization's environment and tolerance levels.

Note: ClearQuest database Feature Level upgrades have the benefit of permanently blocking earlier product versions that do not support that Feature Level. To obtain a list of supported Feature Levels in your client, run the installutil showfeaturelevels command.

Additional enhancements have been provided, by upgrading to one of the following releases or higher:

Affected Versions

Applying the fix

Enhacement provided:


Install Rational ClearQuest Fix Pack 6 ( for 8.0.1


Install Rational ClearQuest Fix Pack 12 ( for 8.0

  • 1 second delay as deterrent.*


Install Rational ClearQuest Fix Pack 15 ( for 7.1.2

  • 1 second delay as deterrent.*


Install Rational ClearQuest Fix Pack 15 ( for 7.1.2
Note: inter-operates with all 7.1.1.x systems and can be installed in the same way as 7.1.1.x fix packs.

  • 1 second delay as deterrent.*

Workarounds and Mitigations

See above regarding usage of LDAP with a lockout password policy for LDAP-enabled CQ user accounts. This will not protect CQ user accounts that are not LDAP-enabled.

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Related information

IBM Secure Engineering Web Portal
IBM Product Security Incident Response Blog



Change History

* 17 September 2014: Original version published.
* 18 March 2015: Update for built-in brute-force feature.
* 7 April 2015: Update with clarifications on brute-force vs. 1 second delay vs. LDAP with password policy.

*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.

Document information

More support for: Rational ClearQuest
General Information

Software version: 7.1,,, 7.1.1,,,,,,,,,, 7.1.2,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, 8.0,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, 8.0.1,,,,,

Operating system(s): AIX, Linux, Solaris, Windows

Reference #: 1682946

Modified date: 07 April 2015