CVE-2022-34309 is a recently discovered vulnerability in IBM's CICS (Customer Information Control System) Transaction Server, which exposes the software to potentially devastating security breaches due to the use of weaker than expected cryptographic algorithms. The security flaw, which was assigned an IBM X-Force ID of 229440, could allow a malicious actor to access and decrypt highly sensitive information from an affected system.


IBM CICS Transaction Server is a powerful application server that supports enterprise applications with high-volume transaction throughput, high-availability, and tight security. This software is widely used in the finance, insurance, retail, and various other industries that require fast and secure transactional processing.

The issue identified as CVE-2022-34309 affects both the IBM CICS TX Standard and the IBM CICS TX Advanced (version 11.1). The vulnerability stems from the implementation of cryptographic algorithms that are weaker than recommended, opening the door to unauthorized individuals to decrypt sensitive data.

Exploit Details

The cryptographic weakness in CICS TX Standard and Advanced primarily revolves around the incorrect implementation of cryptographic algorithms to encrypt and protect sensitive data transmitted or stored within the CICS environment.

For instance, the software may use outdated algorithms such as MD5 or SHA-1 for hashing, or symmetric cryptography with weak keys for encryption. The improper use of these cryptographic schemes puts the sensitive information of businesses and their clients at risk as it can be more easily intercepted and decrypted by malicious actors.

Code Snippet

To encrypt or hash sensitive data within the vulnerable CICS TX application, algorithms like the following may be employed:

// Example of weak hashing algorithm
md5Hash = md5(sensitiveData);

// Example of weak symmetric encryption
encryptedData = encryptAES128(sensitiveData, weakKey);

While this code snippet may not be an exact representation of the CICS TX implementation, it helps explain the general vulnerability in the software suite: weak and outdated cryptographic algorithms are used, leaving the data in an exposed state.

Original References

1. IBM Security Bulletin: CICS Transaction Server Weak Cryptographic Algorithm (CVE-2022-34309)

2. IBM X-Force Vulnerability Database: IBM X-Force ID: 229440

3. CVE Details: CVE-2022-34309

Mitigation and Recommendations

IBM has acknowledged the existence of CVE-2022-34309 and developed patches for the affected IBM CICS TX Standard and Advanced 11.1 software. It is strongly advised that organizations using the vulnerable versions promptly update their installations according to IBM's recommended guidelines, which can be found in the IBM Security Bulletin.

In addition to applying the provided patches, organizations should also practice good security hygiene, including the use of strong and up-to-date cryptographic algorithms for sensitive data protection and secure communication, as well as consistently reviewing and updating their security policies and infrastructure.


The recently discovered CVE-2022-34309 vulnerability highlights the importance of using strong cryptographic mechanisms in enterprise software applications. By addressing this vulnerability and continuously updating the security mechanisms in place, organizations using IBM CICS Transaction Server can help prevent malicious actors from gaining unauthorized access to and decrypting highly sensitive information.


Published on: 02/12/2024 19:15:08 UTC