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Security Bulletin: IBM MQ Java clients might send a password in clear text (CVE-2016-3052)

Security Bulletin


If a Java or JMS client application uses a channel that does not use SSL/TLS, then setting "PasswordProtection=ALWAYS" in a queue manager's qm.ini file does not stop IBM WebSphere MQ sending a password in clear text across a network during the connection.

Applications that do not set the "USE_MQCSP_AUTHENTICATION_PROPERTY" or "USER_AUTHENTICATION_MQCSP" properties to "true" on the connection are potentially vulnerable.

Vulnerability Details

CVEID: CVE-2016-3052
Under non-standard configurations, IBM WebSphere MQ might send password data in clear text over the network. This data could be intercepted using man in the middle techniques.
CVSS Base Score: 5.9
CVSS Temporal Score: See for the current score
CVSS Environmental Score*: Undefined
CVSS Vector: (CVSS:3.0/AV:N/AC:H/PR:N/UI:N/S:U/C:H/I:N/A:N)

Affected Products and Versions


IBM MQ V8.0.0.5 and previous maintenance levels.


IBM MQ V9.0.1 only


IBM MQ V9.0.0.0 only



Apply maintenance level.

IBM MQ V9.0.1 CD

Upgrade to 9.0.2


Apply Fix pack

Workarounds and Mitigations

Use SSL/TLS to protect data by specifying a channel cipherspec, and configure client applications to set the "USE_MQCSP_AUTHENTICATION_PROPERTY" (Java client) or "USER_AUTHENTICATION_MQCSP" (JMS client) properties to "true" on the connection.

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Important note

IBM strongly suggests that all System z customers be subscribed to the System z Security Portal to receive the latest critical System z security and integrity service. If you are not subscribed, see the instructions on the System z Security web site. Security and integrity APARs and associated fixes will be posted to this portal. IBM suggests reviewing the CVSS scores and applying all security or integrity fixes as soon as possible to minimize any potential risk.


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Related information

IBM Secure Engineering Web Portal
IBM Product Security Incident Response Blog

Change History

20 February 2017: Original version published.
28 February 2017: Clarified affected environments and mitigations.
24 May 2017: Details for added
19 June 2017: HP & Solaris specifics removed

*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: IBM MQ

Software version: 8.0, 9.0, 9.0.1

Operating system(s): AIX, HP-UX, IBM i, Linux, Solaris, Windows

Software edition: All Editions

Reference #: 1998660

Modified date: 19 June 2017