Vulnerability Note VU#578598

Iridium Pilot and OpenPort contain multiple vulnerabilities

Original Release date: 07 Aug 2014 | Last revised: 12 Sep 2014


Broadband satellite terminals using Iridium Pilot and OpenPort have been found to contain undocumented hardcoded login credentials (CWE-798). Additionally, these broadband satellite terminals utilize an insecure proprietary communications protocol that allows unauthenticated users to perform privileged operations on the devices (CWE-306).


Iridium Pilot and OpenPort are a shipboard communication device used to communicate voice and data from ship-to-ship and to ground stations through the Iridium satellite constellation.

CWE-798 - Use of Hardcoded Credentials - CVE-2014-0326
Iridium Pilot BDE (Below Deck Equipment) provides a web interface accessible to the administrators within the corporate Iridium network and to local operators shipboard to configure the device. The device contains hardcoded administrator credentials that cannot be changed and can be accessed via the web interface remotely.

The vendor, Iridium, has posted the following statement:

Iridium is aware of this vulnerability and has taken the necessary steps to address it. We are detecting and blocking use of the identified credentials at the edge where the Iridium network connects to public terrestrial networks. Since all Pilots can only be addressed through the Iridium network, this effectively blocks any remote unauthorized use of the credentials. Iridium has also made changes to the Pilot firmware and this will be released through our normal software release process.

CWE-306: Missing Authentication for Critical Function - CVE-2014-0327
Iridium provides operators with a Terminal Upgrade Tool that allows an operator or the Iridium administrators to remotely upgrade the firmware. The firmware upgrade process does not utilize an authentication mechanism and a firmware update can be performed by connecting to the device remotely on TCP port 54321.

The vendor, Iridium, has posted the following statement:

Iridium is aware of this vulnerability and does not believe it is viable. The firmware upgrade tool described is provided only to service providers, and will not work remotely, the tool must be run on a PC which is directly connected to the on ship Pilot’s BDE (below deck equipment). Any remote attempt to upgrade the firmware will disable the Iridium network connection and the software upgrade will abort. In addition, it is not technically feasible to create a “malicious” version of the firmware as the PILOT has a proprietary Operating system, processor and tool set.


A remote unauthenticated attacker may be able to gain privileged access to the device. Additionally, a remote unauthenticated attacker may be able to execute arbitrary code on the device.


We are currently unaware of a practical solution to this problem.

Vendor Information (Learn More)

VendorStatusDate NotifiedDate Updated
Iridium Communications Inc.Affected16 Jan 201412 Sep 2014
If you are a vendor and your product is affected, let us know.

CVSS Metrics (Learn More)

Group Score Vector
Base 9.3 AV:N/AC:M/Au:N/C:C/I:C/A:C
Temporal 8.8 E:F/RL:U/RC:C
Environmental 9.2 CDP:LM/TD:H/CR:ND/IR:ND/AR:ND



Thanks to Cesar Cerrudo and Ruben Santamarta for reporting these vulnerabilities.

This document was written by Chris King.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: CVE-2014-0326 CVE-2014-0327
  • Date Public: 07 Aug 2014
  • Date First Published: 07 Aug 2014
  • Date Last Updated: 12 Sep 2014
  • Document Revision: 39


If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.