Security researchers are raising alarm on an ongoing supply chain attack that uses malicious Python packages to distribute an information stealer.
Ongoing since the first half of October, the attack was uncovered by Phylum on November 1, with the attackers copying existing popular libraries and injecting a malicious ‘import’ statement into them.
The purpose of the injected code is to infect the victim’s machine with a script that runs in the background. The script, which fetches the victim’s geolocation, contains a modified version of an information stealer called Wasp.
The attackers have managed to infect hundreds of victims to date, while actively releasing new packages to continue the campaign, Checkmarx notes.
Steganography is used to hide the malicious code inside packages. The payload is polymorphic, meaning that different code results each time the second and third stage URLs are loaded, which helps evade detection and ensures persistence.
The Wasp malware can steal a great deal of information from victims’ machines, including Discord account information, passwords, credit card data, crypto wallets, and local files.
The threat actor behind these attacks is offering their malware on cybercrime forums, claiming the code is fully undetected.
Checkmarx was able to link Wasp’s author to a Steam account and to a YouTube channel containing videos on building Discord hacking tools.
Since the beginning of the campaign, the attacker has created tens of new Python packages and numerous fake user accounts that mimic legitimate libraries and accounts.
“The level of manipulation used by software supply chain attackers is increasing as attackers get increasingly more clever. It seems this attack is ongoing, and whenever the security team of Python deletes his packages, he quickly maneuvers and creates a new identity or simply uses a different name,” Checkmarx notes.
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