Fortinet warns of three new malicious PyPI packages containing code designed to fetch the Wacatac trojan and information stealer as a next stage payload.
The three Python packages, ‘colorslib’, ‘httpslib’ and ‘libhttps’ were uploaded to PyPI (Python Package Index) on January 7 and January 12.
All three packages were published by the same author from a user account named ‘Lolip0p’, which joined the repository shortly before the packages were published.
The Python packages feature legitimate-looking descriptions, meant to trick users into believing they are clean. However, Fortinet discovered that all versions of these packages are, in fact, malicious.
Each package, the cybersecurity firm says, contains the same setup.py script and attempt to run a PowerShell script to download an executable binary from an external link.
The download URL has not been flagged as malicious by any of the antivirus products on VirusTotal, but the downloaded file is detected as malicious by a few of them.
Named ‘Oxyz.exe’, the executable has been designed to download another binary, called ‘update.exe’, which is executed from the victim’s temp folder. The binary drops additional files in the same folder.
Both the binary and one of the executables it fetches (SearchProtocolHost.exe) are flagged by several antivirus tools as ‘Wacatac’, a trojan and information stealer that targets login credentials, banking information, and other sensitive information.
Wacatac can also be used to deploy additional malware on the victim’s machine, including ransomware, and perform other “actions of a malicious hacker’s choice”, according to Microsoft.
“Python end users should always perform due diligence before downloading and running any packages, especially from new authors. And as can be seen, publishing more than one package in a short time period is no indication that an author is reliable,” Fortinet concludes.
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