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The Octopus Scanner Malware

Logiciels libres ouverts privés et virus

samedi 30 mai 2020, par ScientificWare

While we have seen many cases where the software supply chain was compromised by hijacking developer credentials or typosquatting popular package names, a malware that abuses the build process and its resulting artifacts to spread is both interesting and concerning for multiple reasons.

In an OSS context, it gives the malware an effective means of transmission since the affected projects will presumably get cloned, forked, and used on potentially many different systems. The actual artifacts of these builds may spread even further in a way that is disconnected from the original build process and harder to track down after the fact.

Since the primary-infected users are developers, the access that is gained is of high interest to attackers since developers generally have access to additional projects, production environments, database passwords, and other critical assets. There is a huge potential for escalation of access, which is a core attacker objective in most cases.

It was interesting that this malware attacked the NetBeans build process specifically since it is not the most common Java IDE in use today. If malware developers took the time to implement this malware specifically for NetBeans, it means that it could either be a targeted attack, or they may already have implemented the malware for build systems such as Make, MsBuild, Gradle and others as well and it may be spreading unnoticed.

While infecting build processes is certainly not a new idea, seeing it actively deployed and used in the wild is certainly a disturbing trend.

As such, GitHub is continuously thinking about ways we can improve the integrity and security of the OSS supply chain. This includes features such to help detect issues in your dependencies, using Dependency Graph, security alerts for vulnerable dependencies, and automated security updates ; and features to help detect potential issues in your code, including code scanning and secret scanning. And of course, we maintain an active response channel and research capability through GitHub SIRT and GitHub Security Lab, as well as initiatives such as the Open Source Security Coalition.