Breaking: Numerous Bitcoin Wallets May Have Been Compromised by Rogue Developer
A Node.js module called event-stream is used in millions of web applications, including BitPay’s open-source bitcoin wallet — Copay — and this module was reportedly compromised thanks to what can objectively referred to as social engineering, laziness, and incompetence.
A user with very little coding activity on GitHub requested publishing rights to the event-stream library from its previous maintainer, Dominic Tarr, who said that he had not maintained the repository in years and gave control to the new user, called right9ctrl.
The library event-stream is used in many Node.js applications. According to a complainant on GitHub, the new maintainer right9ctrl either pulled a sneaky move to inject malware or unknowingly had the same effect as if he had, that effect being that it would leak private keys from applications that relied on both the event-stream and copay-dash modules.
Ayrton Sparling wrote:
“He added flatmap-stream which is entirely (1 commit to the repo but has 3 versions, the latest one removes the injection, unmaintained, created 3 months ago) an injection targeting ps-tree. After he adds it at almost the exact same time the injection is added to flatmap-stream, he bumps the version and publishes. Literally the second commit (3 days later) after that he removes the injection and bumps a major version so he can clear the repo of having flatmap-stream but still have everyone (millions of weekly installs) using 3.x affected.”
Basically, the developer updated the module with malware and then patched the problem to avoid detection, but the numerous people who had already installed it remain affected. Copay — whose open-source code is itself used by many crypto applications — would be just one of many that use the library, but it happens to be built and maintained by a multi-million dollar Bitcoin payment processing company — BitPay — which raises questions on its own. ..Read More..