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241 Npm and PyPI Packages Drops Linux Cryptominers

Obanla Opeyemi

August 30, 2022 - TuxCare expert team

Researchers be have uncovered at least 241 malicious Npm and PyPI packages that drop cryptominers after infecting Linux machines.

These malicious packages are largely typosquats of widely used libraries and each one of them downloads a Bash script on Linux systems that run cryptominers.

Lübbers discovered “at least 33 projects” on PyPI that launched XMRig, an open source Monero cryptominer after infecting a system.
While trying to report the processes for the 33 projects to PyPI, the researcher uncovered another 22 packages with the same malicious payload published by the threat actor.

“After I reported them to PyPI, they were quickly deleted – but the malicious actor was still in the process of uploading more packages, and uploaded another 22. The packages targeted Linux systems and installed crypto mining software XMRig,” explain Lübbers.

According to tbe researcher, the python packages contain codes that downloads the BASH script from the threat actor’s sever via Bit.ly URL shortener. The shortened link then redirects to the script hosted on 80.78.25[.]140:8000.

After it is executed, the script notifies the threat actor of the IP address of the compromised host and if the deployment of cryptominers succeed.

“I found these packages through a little side project of mine, which I call the Package Observatory Club. It queries and stores metadata about all new packages uploaded to PyPI and RubyGems.org and runs some heuristics. If it looks suspicious enough it alerts me and I take a look,” the researcher further clarified.

NPM also known as Node Package Manager is an online repository for the publishing of open-source Node.js projects. It is also a command-line utility for interacting with said repository that aids in package installation, version management, and dependency management.

Admins are advised to take security measures to protect their servers from these attacks.

The sources for this piece include an article in BleepingComputerBleepingComputer.

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