Eric Holmes Medium

Here's how Eric Holmes gained commit access to Homebrew in 30 minutes  ↦

This post from Eric Holmes details how package managers can be used in supply chain attacks — specifically, in this case, a supply chain attack on Homebrew — which is used by hundreds of thousands of people, including “employees at some of the biggest companies in Silicon Valley.”

On Jun 31st, I went in with the intention of seeing if I could gain access to Homebrew’s GitHub repositories. About 30 minutes later, I made my first commit to Homebrew/homebrew-core.

If I were a malicious actor, I could have made a small, likely unnoticed change to the openssl formulae, placing a backdoor on any machine that installed it.

If I can gain access to commit in 30 minutes, what could a nation state with dedicated resources achieve against a team of 17 volunteers?


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