Sifting through for malware with OSSF Package Analysis

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2023-09-16 21:30:06

I have a particular fascination with the threat of supply chain compromise via package manager operations. Not so much that a malicious library will be embedded into the final product; rather, that when the programmer installs a package, such as from NPM, PyPI, or, arbitrary code is executed, which may deposit a backdoor that grants access to the developer’s access, secrets, etc.

Again, as developers, we should remember that simply installing a source code package from a repository can invoke arbitrary code on your system.

One way to monitor for these sorts of attacks is to do large scale installations of all available packages and see what behavior we encounter. This is one thing that the Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF) does.

seeks to understand the behavior and capabilities of packages available on open source repositories: what files do they access, what addresses do they connect to, and what commands do they run? The project also tracks changes in how packages behave over time, to identify when previously safe software begins acting suspiciously.

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