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CERT Coordination Center

Multiple vulnerabilities found in the Cobham EXPLORER 710 satcom terminal

Vulnerability Note VU#719689

Original Release Date: 2019-10-09 | Last Revised: 2019-10-11


CERT/CC researchers examined the satcom terminal Cobham EXPLORER 710 as an expansion of work from IOActive’s findings in 2014. They discovered multiple new vulnerabilities affecting the device and the firmware, some of which could allow an unauthenticated, local attacker to gain access to sensitive information or complete control of the device.


The Cobham EXPLORER 710 is a portable satellite terminal used to provide satellite telecommunications and internet access. For consistency, “device” mentioned in the following section is defined as the Cobham EXPLORER 710. The affected firmware version is 1.07 for all of the vulnerabilities listed below unless otherwise noted.

The web application portal has no authentication by default. This could allow an unauthenticated, local attacker connected to the device to access the portal and to make any change to the device.

The web root directory has no access restrictions on downloading and reading all files. This could allow an unauthenticated, local attacker connected to the device to access and download any file found in the web root directory.

The web application portal allows unauthenticated access to port 5454 on the device. This could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to connect to this port via Telnet and execute 86 Attention (AT) commands, including some that provide unauthenticated, shell-like access to the device.

The web application portal sends the login password in cleartext. This could allow an unauthenticated, local attacker to intercept the password and gain access to the portal.

The root password for the device is the same for all versions of firmware up to and including v1.08. This could allow an attacker to reverse-engineer the password from available versions to gain authenticated access to the device.

The device does not validate its firmware image. Development scripts left in the firmware can be used to upload a custom firmware image that the device runs. This could allow an unauthenticated, local attacker to upload their own firmware that could be used to intercept or modify traffic, spoof or intercept GPS traffic, exfiltrate private data, hide a backdoor, or cause a denial-of-service. The CVSS score below reflects the score for this CVE in particular.

In addition to the findings above, we have found some configuration issues within the device that can leave it vulnerable to attackers. The default WiFi password is publicly documented as the serial number of the device and can be easily brute forced. Additionally, important security headers are missing, which leaves the device vulnerable to cross-site scripting and clickjacking.


The impacts of these vulnerabilities are that an unauthenticated, local attacker could intercept traffic that may include passwords or sensitive data, remotely execute commands on the device, access files that should be restricted, and make changes to the device that could include uploading custom firmware for control over it.


The CERT/CC is currently unaware of a practical solution to these problems.

Vendor Information


Cobham plc Affected

Notified:  April 24, 2019 Updated: October 01, 2019



Vendor Statement

We have not received a statement from the vendor.

Vendor Information

We are not aware of further vendor information regarding this vulnerability.

CVSS Metrics

Group Score Vector
Base 6.9 AV:L/AC:M/Au:N/C:C/I:C/A:C
Temporal 6.9 E:ND/RL:ND/RC:ND
Environmental 6.9 CDP:ND/TD:ND/CR:ND/IR:ND/AR:ND



This document was written by Kyle O'Meara and David Belasco of the CERT Coordination Center of the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute.

Other Information

CVE IDs: CVE-2019-9529 , CVE-2019-9530, CVE-2019-9531, CVE-2019-9532, CVE-2019-9533, CVE-2019-9534
Date Public: 2019-10-09
Date First Published: 2019-10-09
Date Last Updated: 2019-10-11 16:25 UTC
Document Revision: 46

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