Hackers Bombard Open Supply Repositories with Over 144,000 Malicious Packages

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Dec 15, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan

NuGet, PyPi, and npm ecosystems are the goal of a brand new marketing campaign that has resulted in over 144,000 packages being revealed by unknown menace actors.

“The packages had been a part of a brand new assault vector, with attackers spamming the open-source ecosystem with packages containing hyperlinks to phishing campaigns,” researchers from Checkmarx and Illustria said in a report revealed Wednesday.

Of the 144,294 phishing-related packages that had been detected, 136,258 had been revealed on NuGet, 7,824 on PyPi, and 212 on npm. The offending libraries have since been unlisted or taken down.


Additional evaluation has revealed that the entire course of was automated and that the packages had been pushed over a brief span of time, with a majority of the usernames following the conference “<a-z><1900-2022>.”

The faux packages themselves claimed to offer hacks, cheats, and free assets in an try and trick customers into downloading them. The URLs to the rogue phishing pages had been embedded within the bundle description.

Open Source Repositories

In all, the large marketing campaign encompassed greater than 65,000 unique URLs on 90 domains.

“The menace actors behind this marketing campaign doubtless wished to enhance the search engine marketing (search engine marketing) of their phishing websites by linking them to reliable web sites like NuGet,” the researchers stated. “This highlights the must be cautious when downloading packages and solely to make use of trusted sources.”

These misleading and well-designed pages marketed recreation hacks, “free cash” for Money App accounts, reward playing cards, and elevated followers on social media platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram.

The websites, as is often the case, do not provide the promised rewards, as an alternative prompting customers to enter e-mail addresses and full surveys, earlier than redirecting them to reliable e-commerce websites by way of an affiliate hyperlink to generate illicit referral revenues.

The poisoning of NuGet, PyPi, and npm with fabricated packages as soon as once more illustrates the evolving strategies menace actors use to assault the software program provide chain.

“Automating the method additionally allowed the attackers to create numerous consumer accounts, making it tough to hint the supply of the assault,” the researchers stated. “This exhibits the sophistication and willpower of those attackers, who had been keen to speculate important assets as a way to perform this marketing campaign.”

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