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Python's PyPI Reveals Its Secrets

Python's PyPI Reveals Its Secrets
Apr 11, 2024 Software Security / Programming
GitGuardian is famous for its annual  State of Secrets Sprawl  report. In their 2023 report, they found over 10 million exposed passwords, API keys, and other credentials exposed in public GitHub commits. The takeaways in their 2024 report did not just highlight 12.8 million  new  exposed secrets in GitHub, but a number in the popular Python package repository  PyPI . PyPI, short for the Python Package Index, hosts over 20 terabytes of files that are freely available for use in Python projects. If you've ever typed pip install [name of package], it likely pulled that package from PyPI. A lot of people use it too. Whether it's GitHub, PyPI, or others, the report states, "open-source packages make up an estimated 90% of the code run in production today. "  It's easy to see why that is when these packages help developers avoid the reinvention of millions of wheels every day. In the 2024 report, GitGuardian reported finding over 11,000 exposed  unique  secrets, wit

PyPI Halts Sign-Ups Amid Surge of Malicious Package Uploads Targeting Developers

PyPI Halts Sign-Ups Amid Surge of Malicious Package Uploads Targeting Developers
Mar 29, 2024 Supply Chain Attack / Threat Intelligence
The maintainers of the Python Package Index (PyPI) repository briefly suspended new user sign-ups following an influx of malicious projects uploaded as part of a typosquatting campaign. PyPI said "new project creation and new user registration" was temporarily halted to mitigate what it said was a "malware upload campaign." The incident was resolved 10 hours later, on March 28, 2024, at 12:56 p.m. UTC. Software supply chain security firm Checkmarx said the unidentified threat actors behind flooding the repository targeted developers with typosquatted versions of popular packages. "This is a multi-stage attack and the malicious payload aimed to steal crypto wallets, sensitive data from browsers (cookies, extensions data, etc.), and various credentials," researchers Yehuda Gelb, Jossef Harush Kadouri, and Tzachi Zornstain  said . "In addition, the malicious payload employed a persistence mechanism to survive reboots." The findings were also c

Code Keepers: Mastering Non-Human Identity Management

Code Keepers: Mastering Non-Human Identity Management
Apr 12, 2024DevSecOps / Identity Management
Identities now transcend human boundaries. Within each line of code and every API call lies a non-human identity. These entities act as programmatic access keys, enabling authentication and facilitating interactions among systems and services, which are essential for every API call, database query, or storage account access. As we depend on multi-factor authentication and passwords to safeguard human identities, a pressing question arises: How do we guarantee the security and integrity of these non-human counterparts? How do we authenticate, authorize, and regulate access for entities devoid of life but crucial for the functioning of critical systems? Let's break it down. The challenge Imagine a cloud-native application as a bustling metropolis of tiny neighborhoods known as microservices, all neatly packed into containers. These microservices function akin to diligent worker bees, each diligently performing its designated task, be it processing data, verifying credentials, or

Lazarus Exploits Typos to Sneak PyPI Malware into Dev Systems

Lazarus Exploits Typos to Sneak PyPI Malware into Dev Systems
Feb 29, 2024 Malware / Endpoint Security
The notorious North Korean state-backed hacking group Lazarus uploaded four packages to the Python Package Index (PyPI) repository with the goal of infecting developer systems with malware. The packages, now taken down, are  pycryptoenv ,  pycryptoconf ,  quasarlib , and  swapmempool . They have been collectively downloaded 3,269 times, with pycryptoconf accounting for the most downloads at 1,351. "The package names pycryptoenv and pycryptoconf are similar to pycrypto, which is a Python package used for encryption algorithms in Python," JPCERT/CC researcher Shusei Tomonaga  said . "Therefore, the attacker probably prepared the malware-containing malicious packages to target users' typos in installing Python packages." The disclosure comes days after Phylum  uncovered  several rogue packages on the npm registry that have been used to single out software developers as part of a campaign codenamed Contagious Interview. An interesting commonality between the t

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Dormant PyPI Package Compromised to Spread Nova Sentinel Malware

 Dormant PyPI Package Compromised to Spread Nova Sentinel Malware
Feb 23, 2024 Supply Chain Attack / Malware
A dormant package available on the Python Package Index (PyPI) repository was updated nearly after two years to propagate an information stealer malware called Nova Sentinel. The package, named  django-log-tracker , was first published to PyPI in April 2022, according to software supply chain security firm Phylum, which  detected  an anomalous update to the library on February 21, 2024. While the  linked GitHub repository  hasn't been updated since April 10, 2022, the introduction of a malicious update suggests a likely compromise of the PyPI account belonging to the developer. Django-log-tracker has been  downloaded 3,866 times  to date, with the rogue version (1.0.4) downloaded 107 times on the date it was published. The package is no longer available for download from PyPI. "In the malicious update, the attacker stripped the package of most of its original content, leaving only an __init__.py and example.py file behind," the company said. The changes, simple and

New Malicious PyPI Packages Caught Using Covert Side-Loading Tactics

New Malicious PyPI Packages Caught Using Covert Side-Loading Tactics
Feb 20, 2024 Malware / Supply Chain Security
Cybersecurity researchers have discovered two malicious packages on the Python Package Index (PyPI) repository that were found leveraging a technique called  DLL side-loading  to circumvent detection by security software and run malicious code. The packages, named  NP6HelperHttptest  and  NP6HelperHttper , were each downloaded  537  and  166 times , respectively, before they were taken down. "The latest discovery is an example of DLL sideloading executed by an open-source package that suggests the scope of software supply chain threats is expanding," ReversingLabs researcher Petar Kirhmajer  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. The name NP6 is notable as it refers to a legitimate marketing automation solution made by ChapsVision. In particular, the fake packages are typosquats of NP6HelperHttp and NP6HelperConfig, which are helper tools published by one of ChapsVision's employees to PyPI. In other words, the goal is to trick developers searching for NP6Hel

Beware: 3 Malicious PyPI Packages Found Targeting Linux with Crypto Miners

Beware: 3 Malicious PyPI Packages Found Targeting Linux with Crypto Miners
Jan 04, 2024 Cryptocurrency Miner / Malware
Three new malicious packages have been discovered in the Python Package Index (PyPI) open-source repository with capabilities to deploy a cryptocurrency miner on affected Linux devices. The three harmful packages, named modularseven, driftme, and catme, attracted a total of 431 downloads over the past month before they were taken down. "These packages, upon initial use, deploy a CoinMiner executable on Linux devices," Fortinet FortiGuard Labs researcher Gabby Xiong  said , adding the activity shares overlaps with a  prior campaign  that involved the use of a package called culturestreak to deploy a crypto miner. The malicious code resides in the __init__.py file, which decodes and retrieves the first stage from a remote server, a shell script ("unmi.sh") that fetches a configuration file for the mining activity as well as the CoinMiner file  hosted on GitLab . The  ELF binary  file is then executed in the background using the  nohup command , thus ensuring that the process contin

116 Malware Packages Found on PyPI Repository Infecting Windows and Linux Systems

116 Malware Packages Found on PyPI Repository Infecting Windows and Linux Systems
Dec 14, 2023 Malware / Supply Chain Attack
Cybersecurity researchers have identified a set of 116 malicious packages on the Python Package Index (PyPI) repository that are designed to infect Windows and Linux systems with a custom backdoor. "In some cases, the final payload is a variant of the infamous  W4SP Stealer , or a simple clipboard monitor to steal cryptocurrency, or both," ESET researchers Marc-Etienne M.Léveillé and Rene Holt  said  in a report published earlier this week. The  packages  are estimated to have been downloaded over 10,000 times since May 2023. The threat actors behind the activity have been observed using three techniques to bundle malicious code into Python packages, namely via a test.py script, embedding PowerShell in setup.py file, and incorporating it in obfuscated form in the  __init__.py file . Irrespective of the method used, the end goal of the campaign is to compromise the targeted host with malware, primarily a backdoor capable of remote command execution, data exfiltration, an

27 Malicious PyPI Packages with Thousands of Downloads Found Targeting IT Experts

27 Malicious PyPI Packages with Thousands of Downloads Found Targeting IT Experts
Nov 17, 2023 Software Supply Chain / API Security
An unknown threat actor has been observed publishing typosquat packages to the Python Package Index (PyPI) repository for nearly six months with an aim to deliver malware capable of gaining persistence, stealing sensitive data, and accessing cryptocurrency wallets for financial gain. The 27 packages, which masqueraded as popular legitimate Python libraries, attracted thousands of downloads, Checkmarx said in a new report. A majority of the downloads originated from the U.S., China, France, Hong Kong, Germany, Russia, Ireland, Singapore, the U.K., and Japan. "A defining characteristic of this attack was the utilization of steganography to hide a malicious payload within an innocent-looking image file, which increased the stealthiness of the attack," the software supply chain security firm  said . Some of the packages are pyefflorer, pyminor, pyowler, pystallerer, pystob, and pywool, the last of which was planted on May 13, 2023. A common denominator to these packages is t

North Korean Hackers Deploy New Malicious Python Packages in PyPI Repository

North Korean Hackers Deploy New Malicious Python Packages in PyPI Repository
Aug 31, 2023 Malware/ Supply Chain
Three additional rogue Python packages have been discovered in the Package Index (PyPI) repository as part of an ongoing malicious software supply chain campaign called  VMConnect , with signs pointing to the involvement of North Korean state-sponsored threat actors. The  findings  come from ReversingLabs, which detected the packages tablediter, request-plus, and requestspro. First disclosed at the start of the month by the company and Sonatype,  VMConnect  refers to a collection of Python packages that mimic popular open-source Python tools to download an unknown second-stage malware. The latest tranche is no different, with ReversingLabs noting that the bad actors are disguising their packages and making them appear trustworthy by using typosquatting techniques to impersonate prettytable and requests and confuse developers. The nefarious code within tablediter is designed to run in an endless execution loop in which a remote server is polled periodically to retrieve and execute

Malicious PyPI Packages Using Compiled Python Code to Bypass Detection

Malicious PyPI Packages Using Compiled Python Code to Bypass Detection
Jun 01, 2023 Programming / Supply Chain
Researchers have discovered a novel attack on the Python Package Index (PyPI) repository that employs compiled Python code to sidestep detection by application security tools. "It may be the first supply chain attack to take advantage of the fact that Python bytecode (PYC) files can be directly executed," ReversingLabs analyst Karlo Zanki  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. The package in question is  fshec2 , which was removed from the third-party software registry on April 17, 2023, following responsible disclosure on the same day. PYC files are compiled bytecode files that are generated by the Python interpreter when a Python program is executed. "When a module is imported for the first time (or when the source file has changed since the current compiled file was created) a .pyc file containing the compiled code should be created in a __pycache__ subdirectory of the directory containing the .py file,"  explains  the Python documentation. The pa

PyPI Implements Mandatory Two-Factor Authentication for Project Owners

PyPI Implements Mandatory Two-Factor Authentication for Project Owners
May 29, 2023 Supply Chain / Programming
The Python Package Index (PyPI) announced last week that every account that maintains a project on the official third-party software repository will be required to turn on two-factor authentication ( 2FA ) by the end of the year. "Between now and the end of the year, PyPI will begin gating access to certain site functionality based on 2FA usage," PyPI administrator Donald Stufft said. "In addition, we may begin selecting certain users or projects for early enforcement." The enforcement also includes  organization maintainers , but does not extend to every single user of the service. The goal is to neutralize the threats posed by account takeover attacks, which an attacker can leverage to distribute trojanized versions of popular packages to poison the software supply chain and deploy malware on a large scale. PyPI, like other open source repositories such as npm, has  witnessed  innumerable instances of malware and package impersonation. Earlier this month, F

PyPI Repository Under Attack: User Sign-Ups and Package Uploads Temporarily Halted

PyPI Repository Under Attack: User Sign-Ups and Package Uploads Temporarily Halted
May 21, 2023 Software Security / Malware
The maintainers of Python Package Index (PyPI), the official third-party software repository for the Python programming language, have temporarily disabled the ability for users to sign up and upload new packages until further notice. "The volume of malicious users and malicious projects being created on the index in the past week has outpaced our ability to respond to it in a timely fashion, especially with multiple PyPI administrators on leave," the admins  said  in a notice published on May 20, 2023. No additional details about the nature of the malware and the threat actors involved in publishing those rogue packages to PyPI were disclosed. The decision to freeze new user and project registrations comes as software registries such as PyPI have proven time and time again to be a popular target for attackers looking to poison the software supply chain and compromise developer environments. Earlier this week, Israeli cybersecurity startup Phylum  uncovered  an active m

Malicious Python Package Uses Unicode Trickery to Evade Detection and Steal Data

Malicious Python Package Uses Unicode Trickery to Evade Detection and Steal Data
Mar 24, 2023 DevSecOps / Software Security
A malicious Python package on the Python Package Index (PyPI) repository has been found to use Unicode as a trick to evade detection and deploy an info-stealing malware. The package in question, named  onyxproxy , was uploaded to PyPI on March 15, 2023, and comes with capabilities to harvest and exfiltrate credentials and other valuable data. It has since been taken down, but not before attracting a total of  183 downloads . According to software supply chain security firm Phylum, the package incorporates its malicious behavior in a setup script that's packed with thousands of seemingly legitimate code strings. These strings include a mix of bold and italic fonts and are still readable and can be parsed by the Python interpreter, only to activate the execution of the stealer malware upon installation of the package.  "An obvious and immediate benefit of this strange scheme is readability," the company  noted . "Moreover, these visible differences do not prevent

Experts Identify Fully-Featured Info Stealer and Trojan in Python Package on PyPI

Experts Identify Fully-Featured Info Stealer and Trojan in Python Package on PyPI
Mar 02, 2023 Software Security / CodingSec
A malicious Python package uploaded to the Python Package Index (PyPI) has been found to contain a fully-featured information stealer and remote access trojan. The package, named  colourfool , was identified by Kroll's Cyber Threat Intelligence team, with the company calling the malware  Colour-Blind . "The 'Colour-Blind' malware points to the democratization of cybercrime that could lead to an intensified threat landscape, as multiple variants can be spawned from code sourced from others," Kroll researchers Dave Truman and George Glass  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. colourfool, like  other rogue Python modules  discovered in recent months, conceals its malicious code in the setup script, which points to a ZIP archive payload hosted on Discord. The file contains a Python script (code.py) that comes with different modules designed to log keystrokes, steal cookies, and even disable security software. The malware, besides performing defense ev

Python Developers Warned of Trojanized PyPI Packages Mimicking Popular Libraries

Python Developers Warned of Trojanized PyPI Packages Mimicking Popular Libraries
Feb 23, 2023 Software Security / Supply Chain Attack
Cybersecurity researchers are warning of "imposter packages" mimicking popular libraries available on the Python Package Index (PyPI) repository. The 41 malicious PyPI packages have been found to pose as typosquatted variants of legitimate modules such as HTTP, AIOHTTP, requests, urllib, and urllib3. The names of the packages are as follows: aio5, aio6, htps1, httiop, httops, httplat, httpscolor, httpsing, httpslib, httpsos, httpsp, httpssp, httpssus, httpsus, httpxgetter, httpxmodifier, httpxrequester, httpxrequesterv2, httpxv2, httpxv3, libhttps, piphttps, pohttp, requestsd, requestse, requestst, ulrlib3, urelib3, urklib3, urlkib3, urllb, urllib33, urolib3, xhttpsp "The descriptions for these packages, for the most part, don't hint at their malicious intent," ReversingLabs researcher Lucija Valentić  said  in a new writeup. "Some are disguised as real libraries and make flattering comparisons between their capabilities and those of known, legitimate

Malicious PyPI Packages Using Cloudflare Tunnels to Sneak Through Firewalls

Malicious PyPI Packages Using Cloudflare Tunnels to Sneak Through Firewalls
Jan 09, 2023 Network Security / Supply Chain
In yet another campaign targeting the Python Package Index (PyPI) repository, six malicious packages have been found deploying information stealers on developer systems. The now-removed packages, which were  discovered  by Phylum between December 22 and December 31, 2022, include pyrologin, easytimestamp, discorder, discord-dev, style.py, and pythonstyles. The malicious code, as is  increasingly the case , is concealed in the setup script (setup.py) of these libraries, meaning running a "pip install" command is enough to activate the malware deployment process. The malware is designed to launch a PowerShell script that retrieves a ZIP archive file, install invasive dependencies such as pynput, pydirectinput, and pyscreenshot, and run a Visual Basic Script extracted from the archive to execute more PowerShell code. "These libraries allow one to control and monitor mouse and keyboard input and capture screen contents," Phylum said in a technical report published

W4SP Stealer Discovered in Multiple PyPI Packages Under Various Names

W4SP Stealer Discovered in Multiple PyPI Packages Under Various Names
Dec 24, 2022 Software Security / Supply Chain
Threat actors have published yet another round of malicious packages to Python Package Index (PyPI) with the goal of delivering information-stealing malware on compromised developer machines. Interestingly, while the malware goes by a variety of names like ANGEL Stealer, Celestial Stealer, Fade Stealer, Leaf $tealer, PURE Stealer, Satan Stealer, and @skid Stealer, cybersecurity company Phylum found them all to be copies of  W4SP Stealer . W4SP Stealer primarily functions to siphon user data, including credentials, cryptocurrency wallets, Discord tokens, and other files of interest. It's created and published by an actor who goes by the aliases BillyV3, BillyTheGoat, and billythegoat356. "For some reason, each deployment appears to have simply tried to do a find/replace of the W4SP references in exchange for some other seemingly arbitrary name," the researchers  said  in a report published earlier this week. The 16 rogue modules are as follows: modulesecurity, inform

Malware Strains Targeting Python and JavaScript Developers Through Official Repositories

Malware Strains Targeting Python and JavaScript Developers Through Official Repositories
Dec 13, 2022
An active malware campaign is targeting the Python Package Index (PyPI) and npm repositories for Python and JavaScript with typosquatted and fake modules that deploy a ransomware strain, marking the latest security issue to affect software supply chains. The typosquatted Python packages all impersonate the popular  requests library : dequests, fequests, gequests, rdquests, reauests, reduests, reeuests, reqhests, reqkests, requesfs, requesta, requeste, requestw, requfsts, resuests, rewuests, rfquests, rrquests, rwquests, telnservrr, and tequests. According to  Phylum , the rogue packages embed source code that retrieves a Golang-based ransomware binary from a remote server depending on the victim's operating system and microarchitecture. Successful execution causes the victim's desktop background to be changed to an actor-controlled image that claims to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). It's also designed to encrypt files and demand a $100 ransom in cryptocurr

Researchers Uncover PyPI Package Hiding Malicious Code Behind Image File

Researchers Uncover PyPI Package Hiding Malicious Code Behind Image File
Nov 10, 2022
A malicious package discovered on the Python Package Index (PyPI) has been found employing a steganographic trick to conceal malicious code within image files. The package in question, named " apicolor ," was uploaded to the Python third-party repository on October 31, 2022, and described as a "Core lib for REST API," according to Israeli cybersecurity firm  Check Point . It has since been  taken down . Apicolor, like other  rogue packages  detected recently, harbors its malicious behavior in the setup script used to specify metadata associated with the package, such as its dependencies. This takes the form of a second package called "judyb" as well as a seemingly harmless PNG file ("8F4D2uF.png") hosted on Imgur, an image-sharing service. "The judyb code turned out to be a steganography module, responsible [for] hiding and revealing hidden messages inside pictures," Check Point explained. The attack chain entails using the judy

Researchers Uncover 29 Malicious PyPI Packages Targeted Developers with W4SP Stealer

Researchers Uncover 29 Malicious PyPI Packages Targeted Developers with W4SP Stealer
Nov 05, 2022
Cybersecurity researchers have uncovered 29 packages in Python Package Index (PyPI), the official third-party software repository for the Python programming language, that aim to infect developers' machines with a malware called W4SP Stealer . "The main attack seems to have started around October 12, 2022, slowly picking up steam to a concentrated effort around October 22," software supply chain security company Phylum  said  in a report published this week. The list of offending packages is as follows: typesutil, typestring, sutiltype, duonet, fatnoob, strinfer, pydprotect, incrivelsim, twyne, pyptext, installpy, faq, colorwin, requests-httpx, colorsama, shaasigma, stringe, felpesviadinho, cypress, pystyte, pyslyte, pystyle, pyurllib, algorithmic, oiu, iao, curlapi, type-color, and pyhints. Collectively, the packages have been downloaded more than 5,700 times, with some of the libraries (e.g., twyne and colorsama) relying on typosquatting to trick unsuspecting users
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