New infected Rubygems packages were spotted in its open source software store and contained malicious code used primarily to steal cryptocurrencies from consumers through a supply chain attack.
Two Rubygem Cryptocurrency Stealers Found by Researchers at Sonatype
According to Ax Sharma, a security researcher at Sonatype, the two pearls found – pretty_color and ruby-bitcoin – had malware that used the attack on Windows machines and replaced any bitcoin wallet (BTC), ethereum (ETH), or monero ( XMR) addresses found on the victim’s clipboard from those of the attackers.
Rubygems is a package manager for the Ruby programming language that allows developers to integrate code developed by others. Anyone can upload a “game” to the repository, in some way opening the doors for threat actors to upload their malicious packages.
The investigator further explained how the attack operates:
This means that if a user who had installed either of these games was mistaken to copy-paste a bitcoin recipient wallet address somewhere on its system, the address would be replaced with the attacker’s address , which would now receive the bitcoins.
During an analysis conducted by the Sonatype Security Research team, it was found that unless the victim double-checks the wallet’s address after they have shipped it, the clipboard hijacker used during the supply chain attack will quietly change direction by creating separate malicious scripts contained in VBS Files.
Supply Chain Attacks: A Growing Concern
Sharma also warned of the growing trend of supply chain attacks so far in 2020, calling it a “bigger concern.”
According to Sonatype’s 2020 Software Supply Chain report, upstream software supply chain attacks have increased by 430% over the past year, making it “virtually impossible” to track and monitor components of such by hand.
Sharma Sonatype adds:
Of all the activities a ransomware group can carry out on a threatened system, replacing a bitcoin wallet address on the clipboard feels more like a trivial evil by an amateur threat actor than a sophisticated ransomware operation. However, this coincidence raises more concern, considering how there have been rampant attacks on the software supply chain in 2020.
Will we see a leading role in crypto-related supply chain attacks in 2021? Let us know in the comments section below.
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