The Need For MQ Networks: A New Understanding

If I surveyed each of you to find out the number and variety of technical platforms you have running at your company, I’d likely find that more than 75% of companies haven’t standardized on a single operating system – let alone a single technical platform. Vanilla’s such a rarity – largely due to the many needs of our 21st-century businesses – and with the growing popularity of the cloud (which makes knowing your supporting infrastructure even more difficult) companies today must decide on a communications standard between their technical platforms.
Why MQ networks? Simple. MQ gives you the ability to treat each of your data-sharing members as a black box. MQ gives you simple application decoupling by limiting the exchange of information between application endpoints and application messages. These application messages have a basic structure of “whatever” with an MQ header for routing destination and messaging-pattern information. The MQ message become the basis for your inter-communication protocols that an application can access no matter where the application currently runs – even when the application gets moved in the future.
This standard hands your enterprise the freedom to manage applications completely independent of one another. You can retire applications, bring up a new application, switch from one application to another or route in parallel. You can watch the volume and performance of applications in real-time, based on the enqueuing behavior of each instance to determine if it’s able to keep up with the upstream processes. No more guesswork! No more lost transactions! And it’s easy to immediately detect an application outage, complete with the history and how many messages didn’t get processed. This is the foundation for establishing Service Level Management.
The power of MQ networks gives you complete control over your critical business data. You can limit what goes where. You can secure it. You can turn it off. You can turn it on. It’s like the difference between in-home plumbing and a hike to the nearest watersource. It’s that revolutionary for the future of application management.

Measuring MQ Capacity: How To Talk To A Bully

TxMQ senior consultant Allan Bartleywood doesn’t like bullies. Didn’t like them when he was a wee lad chasing butterflies across the arid hardscrabble of the Zimbabwean landscape. And certainly won’t tolerate them today in giant enterprise shops across the world.
Here’s the deal: Allan’s an MQ architect. Pretty much the best there is. He’s got a big peacenik streak. And he likes to stick up for his guys when a company bully starts to blame MQ.
You’ve heard it before: “MQ is the bottleneck. We need more MQ connections. It’s not my application – it’s your MQ.”
We all know it isn’t, but our hands are tied because we can’t measure the true capacity of MQ under load. So we blame the app and the bully rolls his eyes and typically wins the battle because apps are sexy and MQ is not and the app bully has been there 10 years and we’ve been there 3.
But Bartleywood’s new utility – the aptly named MQ Capacity PlannerTM (MQCP) –  unties our hands and allows us to stand up to the bully.
“I’m giving everyone the information we need to defend our environments – to stand up for our MQ,” Bartelywood says. “The Tivolis, the BMCs, the MQ Statistics Tools can’t speak to capacity because they can’t gin the information to tell you what true capacity is. I absolutely love how MQCPTM allows me, and you, to turn the whole argument upside-down and ask the bully: ‘Here’s what the MQ capacity is. Does the demand you put on MQ meet what it can truly deliver? Can you actually consume connections as fast as MQ can deliver them?'”
MQCP is now available to the public for the first time. It’s simply the best tool to develop an accurate picture of the size and cost of your environment. Ask about our special demo for large enterprise shops.
Photo by Eddie~S

IBM WebSphere Message Broker And Integration Bus Both Vulnerable To POODLE

[fusion_text]Shortly after its announcement that WebSphere MQ could be exposed to the POODLE vulnerability, IBM issued a similar warning for its IBM WebSphere Message Broker and IBM Integration Bus (IIB) products. POODLE is short for Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption and it exploits an opening in SSLv3. Because SSLv3 is enabled by default in IBM WebSphere Message Broker and IBM Integration Bus, hardening against POODLE is critical. (See TxMQ’s coverage of the WebSphere MQ vulnerability here.)
OpenSSL could allow a remote attacker to bypass security restrictions. When configured with “no-ssl3” as a build option, servers could accept and complete an SSL 3.0 handshake, which could then be exploited to perform unauthorized actions.

Affected Products

The specific list of affected products includes:

  • IBM WebSphere Message Broker V7.0 and V8.0
  • IBM Integration Bus V9.0
  • IBM WebSphere Message Broker Hypervisor Edition V8.0
  • IBM Integration Bus Hypervisor Edition V9.0
  • IBM SOA Policy Pattern for Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server

Workarounds

The most important action is to disable SSLv3 and switch to TLS protocol on Message Broker and IIB servers and clients. Product-specific instructions, with direct links to the more detailed instructions in the IBM Knowledge Center, are listed below.

Inbound Connections

The attack vector is around inbound. The outbound connections may stop working if the server disallows SSLv3.
Inbound HTTP connections using the Broker-wide listener: Instructions found here.
mqsichangeproperties broker name -b httplistener -o HTTPSConnector -n sslProtocol -v TLS
Inbound HTTP connections using the integration server listener will by default use TLS (as the integration server listener defaults to TLS). If however it has been modified to match the broker-wide listener, use these instructions to make the necessary changes to use TLS.
mqsichangeproperties broker name -e integration_server_name -o HTTPSConnector -n sslProtocol -v TLS
Inbound SOAP connections using the non-default broker-wide listener: Instructions found here.
mqsichangeproperties broker name -b httplistener -o HTTPSConnector -n sslProtocol -v TLS
Inbound SOAP connections using the integration server listener (the default choice) will by default use TLS (as the integration server listener defaults to TLS). If however it has been modified to match the broker-wide listener, use these instructions to make the necessary changes to use TLS.
mqsichangeproperties broker name -e integration_server_name -o HTTPSConnector -n sslProtocol -v TLS
TCPIP Server inbound: Instructions found here.
mqsichangeproperties MYBROKER -c TCPIPServer -o myTCPIPServerService -n SSLProtocol  -v TLS
WebAdmin inbound: Instructions found here.
mqsichangeproperties brokerName -b webadmin -o HTTPSConnector -n sslProtocol -v TLS
ODBC (DataDirect) OpenSSL as configured in odbc.ini: The ODBC Oracle Wire Protocol driver allows for the EncryptionMethod connect option to be set to a value of 5, which means only use TLS1 or higher. Setting EncryptionMethod=5 for the Oracle Wire Protocol driver will avoid POODLE. This functionality has been available since 6.1 version of the Oracle WP driver. The providers of DataDirect drivers are working on similar functionality to all other ODBC drivers that support SSL and upgrading the version of OpenSSL used within the drivers to pick up the enhancement to SSL negotiation.
The client-based ODBC drivers (DB2 Client and Informix Client) rely on the SSL implementation within the database’s client libraries. See client libraries to learn about possible exposure to POODLE.

Outbound Connections

Once the servers are changed to use TLS, it’s important to update the outbound settings with the following commands. Note that in all the following instructions, TLS can be substituted for SSL_TLS or SSL_TLSv2 if needed.
For HTTP connections: Instructions found here.
Then in the SSL tab of the Request node(s) select TLS for the Protocol.
For SOAP connections that have been modified to use the non-default SSLv3 protocol: Instructions found here.
Then in the SSL tab of the Request node(s) select TLS for the Protocol.
TCPIP Client: Instructions found here.
mqsichangeproperties MYBROKER -c TCPIPClient -o myTCPIPClientService -n SSLProtocol -v TLS
JMS Nodes: Some information found here. Follow instructions as provided by your JMS Provider.
Follow instructions as provided by your JMS Provider.
CICS Nodes: Instructions found here.
the CICS nodes use TLS by default, so no change needed.

Security Providers

WSTrust: Set the environment variable MQSI_STS_SSL_PROTOCOL to “TLS”
TFIM: Set the environment variable MQSI_TFIM_SSL_PROTOCOL to “TLS”
Click here for IBM’s full CVE-2014-3566 bulletin.
TxMQ is an IBM Premier Business Partner and “MQ” is part of our name. For additional information about this vulnerability and all WebSphere-related matters, contact president Chuck Fried: 716-636-0070 x222, mailto:chuck@TxMQ.com.
TxMQ recently introduced its MQ Capacity Planner – a new solution developed for performance-metrics analysis of enterprise-wide WebSphere MQ (now IBM MQ) infrastructure. TxMQ’s innovative technology enables MQ administrators to measure usage and capacity of an entire MQ infrastructure with one comprehensive tool.
(Photo by greg westfall under Creative Commons license.)
[/fusion_text]

POODLE Vulnerability In SSLv3 Affects IBM WebSphere MQ

Secure Socket Layer version 3 (SSLv3) is largely obsolete, but some software does occasionally fall back to this version of SSL protocol. The bad news is that SSLv3 contains a vulnerability that exposes systems to a potential attack. The vulnerability is nicknamed POODLE, which stands for Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption.
The vulnerability does affect IBM WebSphere MQ because SSLv3 is enabled by default in MQ.
IBM describes the vulnerability like this: IBM WebSphere MQ could allow a remote attacker to obtain sensitive information, caused by a design error when using the SSLv3 protocol. A remote user with the ability to conduct a man-in-the-middle attack could exploit this vulnerability via a POODLE (Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption) attack to decrypt SSL sessions and access the plaintext of encrypted connections.”
The vulnerability affects all versions and releases of IBM WebSphere MQ, IBM WebSphere MQ Internet Pass-Thru and IBM Mobile Messaging and M2M Client Pack.
To harden against the vulnerability, users should disable SSLv3 on all WebSphere MQ servers and clients and instead use the TLS protocol. More specifically, WebSphere MQ channels select either SSL or TLS protocol from the channel cipherspec. The following cipherspecs are associated with the SSLv3 protocol and channels that use these should be changed to use a TLS cipherspec:
AES_SHA_US
RC4_SHA_US
RC4_MD5_US
TRIPLE_DES_SHA_US
DES_SHA_EXPORT1024
RC4_56_SHA_EXPORT1024
RC4_MD5_EXPORT
RC2_MD5_EXPORT
DES_SHA_EXPORT
NULL_SHA
NULL_MD5
FIPS_WITH_DES_CBC_SHA
FIPS_WITH_3DES_EDE_CBC_SHA
On UNIX, Linux, Windows and z/OS platforms, FIPS 140-2 compliance mode enforces the use of TLS protocol. A summary of MQ cipherspecs, protocols and FIPS compliance status can be found here.
On the IBM i platform, use of the SSLv3 protocol can be disabled at a system level by altering the QSSLPCL system value. Use Change System Value (CHGSYSVAL) to modify the QSSLPCL value, changing the default value of *OPSYS to a list that excludes *SSLV3. For example: *TLSV1.2, *TLSV1.1, TLSV1.
TxMQ is an IBM Premier Business Partner and “MQ” is part of our name. For additional information about this vulnerability and all WebSphere-related matters, contact president Chuck Fried: 716-636-0070 x222, chuck@TxMQ.com.
TxMQ recently introduced its MQ Capacity Planner – a new solution developed for performance-metrics analysis of enterprise-wide WebSphere MQ (now IBM MQ) infrastructure. TxMQ’s innovative technology enables MQ administrators to measure usage and capacity of an entire MQ infrastructure with one comprehensive tool.
(Photo from J Jongsma)