Security Advisory 2021-062

Release Date:

NPM Libraries Hijacked



  • 05/11/2021 --- v1.0 -- Initial publication


On November 4, malicious code was discovered in two popular NPM libraries [1] after unexpected releases have been published for the coa library. Hours after these new releases, the rc library was also found hijacked. The first library is a parser for command-line options, while the second is used as a configuration loader for applications. Malicious releases were all published on November 4, versions 2.0.3, 2.0.4, 2.1.1, 2.1.3, 3.1.3 for the coa library, and versions 1.2.9, 1.3.9, 2.3.9 for the rc library.

Technical Details

Both hijacked libraries target Windows Operating Systems. During the installation, a suspicious preinstall script will try to execute compile.js (which does not exist in the original versions of these packages). This file contains obfuscated JavaScript code attempts to launch compile.bat, also included in the NPM archive, which would eventually download and execute a sdd.dll from pastorcryptograph[.]at [1].

Once loaded using regsvr32.exe -s compile.dll, the DLL will perform various activities such as stealing passwords from various web browsers and applications (VNC clients, FTP clients, email accounts, etc.), taking screenshots, and keystroke logging.

Note: These techniques and files share similarities with the hijacked versions of the ua-parser-js library (see SA2021-057 [2]).

List of IOCs

  • compile.js
  • compile.bat
  • sdd.dll from coa - SHA256: f53ef1ed12f9ba49831ea33100083c9a92bc8adc6620f8a3b36a2d9ae2eb8591
  • sdd.dll from rc - SAH256: 26451f7f6fe297adf6738295b1dcc70f7678434ef21d8b6aad5ec00beb8a72cf
  • pastorcryptograph[.]at

Affected Products

  • coa library versions 2.0.3, 2.0.4, 2.1.1, 2.1.3, 3.1.3
  • rc library versions 1.2.9, 1.3.9, 2.3.9

Note: Not all versions contain the malicious files. Nevertheless, it is advised to consider all these versions as malicious.


CERT-EU recommends reverting to safe versions of the coa and rc libraries (if not automatically done):

  • version 2.0.2 for coa library [3]
  • version 1.2.8 for rc library [4]

CERT-EU also recommends searching for the IOCs on potentially affected devices. Any computer that has these packages installed or running should be considered compromised. All malicious files should be removed, and passwords and other secrets should be rotated as soon as possible.






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