The phishing package campaign was discovered by analysts from Checkmarx and Illustria, who worked together to investigate the incident. According to experts, the packages were downloaded from accounts using a specific naming scheme, had similar descriptions, and led to the same cluster of 90 domains that hosted more than 65,000 phishing pages. The sites contained fake apps, surveys, promo codes, and more. In some cases, there were referral links for AliExpress.
The most phishing packages were uploaded to NuGet with 136,258, PyPI with 7,894 packages, and NPM with a total of 212.
Phishing site URLs were inserted into the description of the package in order for the links to raise the phishing sites in the SERP. Package descriptions encourage users to follow links to get more information about applications, various code generation tools and so on.
In some cases, the attackers advertised fake Steam gift card generators, Playstation Network e-gift card codes, and subscriber-buying services on various platforms. But in order to use them, the victim must enter his email, as well as the login and password from his account on the service / site. This is how cybercriminals collect victim data to later sell it on the dark web.
In addition, attackers also make money from this by redirecting users to various marketplaces via referral links.
The information security specialists who discovered this campaign have already reported the infection to NuGet, PyPI and NPM, so all malicious packages have already been removed from the sites.