Technical Advisory – IBM TAM: Remote Directory Traversal and File Retrieval via web server plug-in

 Virtual Security Research, LLC.
                     Security Advisory


Advisory Name: Remote Directory Traversal and File Retrieval
 Release Date: 2006-02-03
  Application: IBM Tivoli Access Manager
      Version:  (other versions untested)
     Severity: High
       Author: Timothy D. Morgan <tmorgan (at) vsecurity (dot) com>
Vendor Status: Vendor Notified, Fix Available
CVE Candidate: CVE-2006-0513

Product Description:

>From IBM's Website[1][2]:

 "IBM Tivoli Access Manager for e-business is an award winning,
  policy-based access control solution for e-business and enterprise
  applications that is in the leader quadrant of Gartner's Magic
  Quadrant. Tivoli Access Manager for e-business can help you manage
  growth and complexity, control escalating management costs and address
  the difficulties of implementing security policies across a wide range
  of Web and application resources."

 "Tivoli Access Manager Plug-in for Web Servers enforces a high degree
  of security in a secure domain by requiring each client to provide
  proof of identity. Comprehensive network security can be provided by
  having Tivoli Access Manager Plug-in for Web Servers control the
  authentication and authorization of clients."

Vulnerability Overview:

On December 1st, while conducting a penetration test of a TAM enabled web
application, VSR identified a vulnerability in Tivoli Web Server Plug-in
which is a component of Tivoli Access Manager (TAM).  This flaw allows an
authenticated attacker to retrieve files (which reside outside of the web
root) from the web server on which the plug-in resides.  It is possible to
retrieve any file or list any directory which is readable by the web server

Vulnerability Details:

IBM's TAM Plug-in contains a logout handler under the root web path named
`pkmslogout'.  This handler is designed to log out authenticated users.
The handler's display template can be specified by the `filename' request
parameter.  The value of this parameter is intended to be the partial path
to a file on the web server which contains the page template.  This file
path is vulnerable to directory traversal, and can be used to retrieve
nearly arbitrary files from the web server hosting the TAM Plug-in.

For instance, if a vulnerable plug-in existed on the system,
one could exploit the problem by hitting a URL such as:

It appears this problem can only be triggered when the attacker is
already authenticated through the Web Plug-in.

Vendor Response:
IBM was first notified on 2005-12-05. Initial response was received on
2005-12-06.  A patch for this issue was released (For versions 5.1.0) on
2006-01-18 and was published as a Limited availability fix:

A generally available fix pack for version 5.1.0 and 6.0 was released by
the vendor on 2006-02-03 and available as:

Fixpack 5.1.0-TIV-WPI-FP0017 is available at:

Fixpack 6.0.0-TIV-WPI-FP0001 is available at: .


Apply the relevant fix packs available from IBM.


Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) Information:

The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned
the following names to these issues.  These are candidates for
inclusion in the CVE list (, which standardizes
names for security problems.




1.  IBM Tivoli Access Manager for e-business - Product overview

2.  IBM Tivoli Access Manager Plug-in for Web Servers Authentication


Greetings to:
  Hotsauce, Beans, and Cornbread

Copyright 2006 Virtual Security Research, LLC. All rights reserved.

Editor's note: This work was originally published by VSR on their website at VSR is now a part of NCC Group, so we have migrated this content to The advisory text as above has been copy-pasted to this blog for historical reference.

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