Two popular NPM packages with combined weekly downloads of roughly 22 million were found to be infected with malicious code by gaining illegal access to the respective developer’s accounts, in yet another supply chain hack targeting open-source software repositories.
The two libraries in question are “coa,” a command-line option parser, and “rc,” a configuration loader, which were both altered to include “similar” password-stealing malware by an anonymous malicious attacker.
What is an NPM Package?
What is COA?
A Command-Option-Argument or COA is a command-line option parser that aims to get the most out of formalizing your program’s API. When you construct a definition in terms of commands, options, and arguments, the relevant results are generated automatically like Program API for using COA-based apps as modules, Command line help text, and completion of the shell.
According to a GitHub advisory published on November 4, all versions of coa starting with 2.0.3 and above — 2.0.3, 2.0.4, 2.1.1, 2.1.3, 3.0.1, and 3.1.3 — are affected, and users of the affected versions are advised to downgrade to 2.0.2 as soon as possible and check their systems for suspicious activity.
What is rc?
This is the lazy person’s non-configurable configuration loader. Your configuration settings will be combined with the defaults you choose and a predetermined defaults object will be changed if you pass it in.
Similarly, malware has been discovered in versions 1.2.9, 1.3.9, and 2.3.9 of rc, with an independent advisory advising users to downgrade to version 1.2.8. This package should be considered compromised on any machine that has it installed or running. All secrets and keys on that computer should be rotated from a different computer as soon as possible. The package should be uninstalled, but because the computer’s entire control may have been granted to an outside entity, no surety doing so will remove any dangerous software that resulted from its installation.
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The Final Word On 22 million downloads for NPM Packages with a backdoor for malware
Additional investigation of the malware samples reveals that it is a DanaBot variation, a Windows virus for stealing credentials and passwords, repeating two similar occurrences last month that resulted in the compromising of UAParser.js and the publication of rogue, typosquatting Roblox NPM packages. “We highly recommend using on your NPM account to safeguard your accounts and packages from similar attacks,” NPM warned in a tweet.
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