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The PyPI Blog

Prohibiting Outlook email domains

In response to ongoing mass bot account registrations, Outlook domains outlook.com and hotmail.com have been prohibited from new associations with PyPI accounts. This includes new registrations as well as adding as additional addresses.

Expanding Trusted Publisher Support

Starting today, PyPI package maintainers can publish via Trusted Publishing from three additional providers:

  • GitLab CI/CD
  • Google Cloud
  • ActiveState

These providers join existing support for publishing from GitHub Actions without long-lived passwords or API tokens, which we announced last year, and bring support for Trusted Publishing to even more hosted providers.

Malware Distribution and Domain Abuse

A package named yocolor was uploaded to PyPI designed assist with malware distribution to targets.

The package was removed from PyPI, curtailing its potential impact to users.

This incident differs from the usual malware package removals, as it involved a domain name that was used in the attack to host the second stage of the malware distribution.

Checkmarx Security Research Team have published an in-depth blog on the specific behaviors - read their report for how it works.

Since PyPI is only involved with what Checkmarx called "Stage 1" of the attack, I'll focus on the package removal and domain abuse follow up here.

Incident Report: Unauthorized User Accounts Access

On Sunday, March 31st, 2024, PyPI Admins received emails about unexpected account activity from PyPI users. Users received notifications from PyPI that they had enrolled in two-factor authentication (2FA). These users claimed that they had not done so themselves.

PyPI Admins have not found any evidence of existing package tampering, or any other malicious activity beyond unauthorized account access and modification.

The main actions post-investigation taken were:

  • affected accounts were frozen for further investigation
  • email re-verification was required for all accounts not yet enabled in 2FA

Read on for a summary of what happened, how we responded, and what's next.

Announcing a PyPI Support Specialist

We launched the Python Package Index (PyPI) in 2003 and for most of its history a robust and dedicated volunteer community kept it running. Eventually, we put a bit of PSF staff time into the maintenance of the Index, and last year with support from AWS we hired Mike Fiedler to work full-time on PyPI’s urgent security needs.

Malware Reporting Evolved

We are lucky to have an engaged community of security researchers that help us keep the Python Package Index (PyPI) safe.

These folks have been instrumental in helping us identify and remove malicious projects from the Index, and we are grateful for their continued support.

Historically, we have asked reporters to email us to report malware per the PyPI Security Policy.

PyPI now has an improved way to report malware, via PyPI itself.

2FA Required for PyPI

Two-factor Authentication is required for all users

It's January 1st, 2024, and PyPI now requires Two-factor authentication (2FA) for all users.

This post is a recognition of the hard work that went into making this a reality, and a thank you to all the users who have enabled 2FA on their accounts.

It is also a reminder to those who have not yet enabled 2FA, that you will need to do so before you can perform any management actions, or upload files to PyPI.

Once 2FA is enabled, you may perform management actions, including generating API Tokens or setting up Trusted Publishers (preferred) to upload files.

Incident Report: User Account Takeover

What happened?

A PyPI user's account was taken over and used to remove the user's ownership of 4 projects. This was not a malfunction of PyPI or using any vulnerability, rather the user's account was not sufficiently protected against account takeover.

The attacker added themselves as a collaborator to these projects, and removed the original owner. None of the projects had any modifications made to them other than ownership changes.