A new supply-chain attack, which was active throughout September 2023, has been discovered in which threat actors used Typosquatting and Startjacking techniques to lure developers using Alibaba cloud services, AWS, and Telegram into downloading malicious Pypi packages.
The threat actors, who had the name â€œkohlersbtuh15â€ uploaded a series of malicious packages into the open-source package manager Pypi in an attempt to perform a supply-chain attack on targeted victims, reads Checkmarx report.
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Typosquatting is the technique in which a threat actor utilizes the human error of mistyping an installation command by publishing a similar package with the mistyped name. Additionally, if a developer searches for a box by mistyping the package name, they end up on the website of the malicious package.
Starjacking is a method in which a package hosted on a package manager is linked to a different unrelated packageâ€™s repository on GitHub. Both of these techniques are combined together to maximize the reach.
Instead of using traditional scripts that auto-execute during setup, the threat actor embedded malicious scripts deep within the package, within specific functions. This technique prevents malicious scripts from being detected by security tools that scan for executable scripts.
The threat actor mimicked a popular package, â€œTelethonâ€ with over 69 million downloads named â€œTelethon2â€. However, as part of the Starjacking attack, this package is linked with the Official GitHub repository of the â€œtelethonâ€ package.
This package had the exact source code copied from the Official package except for two malicious lines of code in the â€œtelethon/client/messages.py” file. This code only gets executed when the â€œsend messageâ€ function is called on the telethon package.
Another spoofed package was the â€œenumerate-iamâ€ which did not have a python package. The threat actor created a new malicious Python package with the same name as the repository.
This package also had a few lines of malicious code that attempted to steal sensitive credentials when executed.
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