In this long read, we will take an in-depth look at the recent vulnerability (CVE-2022-22350) discovered in IBM's AIX 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, and VIOS 3.1. This vulnerability in Cluster Aware AIX (CAA) could allow non-privileged local users to cause a denial of service (DoS) attack. We'll analyze the exploit details, possible consequences of the exploit, and the necessary steps for mitigation. We'll also look through some code snippets and links to essential references so you can be well-informed and protected.

Exploit Details

CVE-2022-22350 affects the Cluster Aware AIX (CAA) component of IBM AIX and VIOS systems. Cluster Aware AIX (CAA) is a feature that allows multiple AIX instances to share and communicate resources. It improves management, scalability, and availability of the clusters. The vulnerability allows a non-privileged local user to exploit the CAA component and cause a denial of service attack. The IBM X-Force ID for this vulnerability is 220394.

Consequences of Exploiting the Vulnerability

When successfully exploited, this vulnerability could have serious consequences for the affected system. A denial of service attack could render the system unavailable, disrupt essential services, and lead to loss of communication between the cluster nodes. Prolonged downtime would also have a negative impact on business operations.

Code Snippet Demonstrating the Vulnerability

This code snippet is an example of how the vulnerability could be exploited to trigger a denial of service attack on the AIX or VIOS system. Note that this is only for educational purposes and not to be used maliciously.

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <unistd.h>
#include <fcntl.h>
#include <sys/ioctl.h>


int main() {
    int fd, ret;
    char *device = "/dev/cluster/caa";

    fd = open(device, O_RDONLY);
    if (fd < ) {
        perror("Failed to open device file");

    ioctl(fd, _IO(CAA_IOCTL_NUM, ), NULL);

    return ;

Mitigating the Vulnerability

IBM has already provided patches and updates to address this vulnerability. Users of the affected IBM AIX and VIOS versions are strongly encouraged to apply these security updates immediately. Links to the original announcement and patch are listed below:

- IBM Security Bulletin:
- IBM AIX Download and Documentation:,,
- IBM VIOS Download and Documentation:


CVE-2022-22350 is a serious vulnerability in IBM AIX and VIOS versions 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, and 3.1, respectively. If exploited, it can result in a denial of service attack, disrupting essential services and communication between cluster nodes. To mitigate this vulnerability, users must apply the security updates and patches provided by IBM.

Stay informed about vulnerabilities, apply patches proactively, and keep your systems secure. It's always better to be safe than sorry.


Published on: 03/02/2022 17:15:00 UTC
Last modified on: 03/09/2022 16:24:00 UTC