Using Legitimate GitHub URLs for Malware

Interesting social-engineering attack vector:

McAfee released a report on a new LUA malware loader distributed through what appeared to be a legitimate Microsoft GitHub repository for the “C++ Library Manager for Windows, Linux, and MacOS,” known as vcpkg.

The attacker is exploiting a property of GitHub: comments to a particular repo can contain files, and those files will be associated with the project in the URL.

What this means is that someone can upload malware and “attach” it to a legitimate and trusted project.

As the file’s URL contains the name of the repository the comment was created in, and as almost every software company uses GitHub, this flaw can allow threat actors to develop extraordinarily crafty and trustworthy lures.

For example, a threat actor could upload a malware executable in NVIDIA’s driver installer repo that pretends to be a new driver fixing issues in a popular game. Or a threat actor could upload a file in a comment to the Google Chromium source code and pretend it’s a new test version of the web browser.

These URLs would also appear to belong to the company’s repositories, making them far more trustworthy.