If you’ve ever used the Python programming language, or installed software written in Python, you’ve probably used PyPI, even if you didn’t realize it at the time.

PyPI is short for the Python Package Index, and it currently contains just under 300,000 open source add-on modules (290,614 of them when we checked [2021-03-07T00:10Z]).

You can download and install any of these modules automatically just by issuing a command such as pip install [nameofpackage], or by letting a software installer fetch the missing components for you.

Crooks sometimes Trojanise the repository of a legitimate project, typically by guessing or cracking the password of a package owner’s account, or by helpfully but dishonestly offering to “assist” with a project that the original owner no longer has time to look after.

Once the fake version is uploaded to the genuine repository, users of the now-hacked package automatically get infected as soon as they update to the new version, which works just as it did before, except that it includes hidden malware for the crooks to exploit.

Another trick involves creating Trojanised public versions of private packages that the attacker knows are used internally by a software company.

more on: Poison packages