Simon Willison’s Weblog


4 items tagged “supply-chain”


Polyfill supply chain attack hits 100K+ sites (via) Short version: if you are loading assets from the domain you need to remove that right now: the new owners of the domain (as of a few months ago) appear to be using it to serve malicious JavaScript. was a fascinating service. It was originally developed and supported by the Financial Times, but span off as a separate project several years ago.

The key idea was to serve up a set of JavaScript polyfills - pieces of code that implemented missing web platform features for older browsers - dynamically, based on the incoming user-agent. This required a CDN that varied its output dynamically based on the user-agent, hence the popularity of the single hosted service.

Andrew Betts, the original author of the service, has been warning people to move off it since February 2024:

If your website uses, remove it IMMEDIATELY.

I created the polyfill service project but I have never owned the domain name and I have had no influence over its sale.

He now works for Fastly, which started offering a free alternative in February. Andrew says you probably don't need that either, given that modern browsers have much better compatibility than when the service was first introduced over a decade ago.

There's some interesting additional context in a now-deleted GitHub issue, preserved here by the Internet Archive.

Usually one answer to protecting against this style of CDN supply chain attack would be to use SRI hashes to ensure only the expected script can be served from the site. That doesn't work here because the whole point of the service is to serve different scripts to different browsers.

# 25th June 2024, 10:17 pm / javascript, security, supply-chain

Diving Deeper into AI Package Hallucinations. Bar Lanyado noticed that LLMs frequently hallucinate the names of packages that don’t exist in their answers to coding questions, which can be exploited as a supply chain attack.

He gathered 2,500 questions across Python, Node.js, Go, .NET and Ruby and ran them through a number of different LLMs, taking notes of any hallucinated packages and if any of those hallucinations were repeated.

One repeat example was “pip install huggingface-cli” (the correct package is “huggingface[cli]”). Bar then published a harmless package under that name in January, and observebd 30,000 downloads of that package in the three months that followed.

# 1st April 2024, 10:51 pm / security, ai, generative-ai, llms, supply-chain

How We Executed a Critical Supply Chain Attack on PyTorch (via) Report on a now handled supply chain attack reported against PyTorch which took advantage of GitHub Actions, stealing credentials from some self-hosted task runners.

The researchers first submitted a typo fix to the PyTorch repo, which gave them status as a “contributor” to that repo and meant that their future pull requests would have workflows executed without needing manual approval.

Their mitigation suggestion is to switch the option from ’Require approval for first-time contributors’ to ‘Require approval for all outside collaborators’.

I think GitHub could help protect against this kind of attack by making it more obvious when you approve a PR to run workflows in a way that grants that contributor future access rights. I’d like a “approve this time only” button separate from “approve this run and allow future runs from user X”.

# 14th January 2024, 7:38 pm / github, security, pytorch, supply-chain


Microsoft® Open Source Software (OSS) Secure Supply Chain (SSC) Framework Simplified Requirements. This is really good: don’t get distracted by the acronyms, skip past the intro and head straight to the framework practices section, which talks about things like keeping copies of the packages you depend on, running scanners, tracking package updates and most importantly keeping an inventory of the open source packages you work so you can quickly respond to things like log4j.

I feel like I say this a lot these days, but if you had told teenage-me that Microsoft would be publishing genuinely useful non-FUD guides to open source supply chain security by 2022 I don’t think I would have believed you.

# 6th August 2022, 4:49 pm / microsoft, opensource, security, supply-chain