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Security Bulletin: Open Redirect Vulnerability in IBM WebSphere Portal (CVE-2018-1736)

Security Bulletin


A fix is available for an Open Redirect Vulnerability in IBM WebSphere Portal (CVE-2018-1736).

Vulnerability Details

CVEID: CVE-2018-1736
DESCRIPTION: IBM WebSphere Portal could allow a remote attacker to conduct phishing attacks, using an open redirect attack. By persuading a victim to visit a specially-crafted Web site, a remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability to spoof the URL displayed to redirect a user to a malicious Web site that would appear to be trusted. This could allow the attacker to obtain highly sensitive information or conduct further attacks against the victim.
CVSS Base Score: 7.4
CVSS Temporal Score: See for the current score
CVSS Environmental Score*: Undefined
CVSS Vector: (CVSS:3.0/AV:N/AC:L/PR:N/UI:R/S:C/C:N/I:H/A:N)

Affected Products and Versions

Affected Product Affected Versions
IBM WebSphere Portal - CF15
IBM WebSphere Portal - CF15
IBM WebSphere Portal - CF23
IBM WebSphere Portal - CF30

For unsupported versions IBM recommends upgrading to a fixed, supported version of the product.


Product VRMF APARs Fix
IBM WebSphere Portal 9.0 PH01459 Upgrade to Cumulative Fix 16 (CF16).
IBM WebSphere Portal 8.5 PH01459 Upgrade to Cumulative Fix 16 (CF16).
IBM WebSphere Portal through 8.0.01 PH01459 Upgrade to Fix Pack with Cumulative Fix 23 (CF23) and then apply the Interim Fix PH01459.
IBM WebSphere Portal through PH01459 Upgrade to Fix Pack with Cumulative Fix 30 (CF30) and then apply the Interim Fix PH01459.

Note: PH01459 introduces a configurable white list for external hosts, which are allowed as redirects via the CategoryProfileUpdater Module. Server relative redirects are continuously working. Redirects to external hosts not specified in the white list are blocked. You can configure this whitelist via the WCMConfigService:

Property Description
categoryProfileUpdaterModule.redirectURL.restrictHosts The value is a boolean. It is used to enable/disable the white list. Possible values are "true" and "false". If set to "false", the behavior prior to the fix is restored (not recommended). Default is "true" (white list enabled).
categoryProfileUpdaterModule.redirectURL.allowedHosts White list to allow only certain hosts. The list is a comma-delimited string. Default is empty (no hosts are allowed).


Having these set would only allow the redirect URL to be to arbitrary urls at the host (E.g.,

If redirects are blocked, a message containing the URL can be found in the log:

"The redirect URL '<REDIRECT_URL>' for the CategoryProfileUpdater Module is unauthorized and has been blocked. To configure a whitelist of permitted hosts for the redirect URL use WCMConfigService property categoryProfileUpdaterModule.redirectURL.allowedHosts, or temporarily disable (not recommended) using categoryProfileUpdaterModule.redirectURL.restrictHosts=false. See PH01459 / CVE-2018-1736."

Based on this message you need to decide, whether to enhance the white list for a valid scenario or leave it blocked.

Workarounds and Mitigations


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Related Information

IBM Secure Engineering Web Portal
IBM Product Security Incident Response Blog

Change History

25 September 2018: Original version published

*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: WebSphere Portal

Software version: 7.0, 8.0, 8.5, 9.0

Operating system(s): Platform Independent

Reference #: 0729683

Modified date: 25 September 2018