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A new attack vector targeting the Visual Studio Code extensions marketplace could be leveraged to upload rogue extensions masquerading as their legitimate counterparts with the goal of mounting supply chain attacks.

The technique “could act as an entry point for an attack on many organizations,” Aqua security researcher Ilay Goldman said in a report published last week.

VS Code extensions, curated via a marketplace made available by Microsoft, allow developers to add programming languages, debuggers, and tools to the VS Code source-code editor to augment their workflows.

“All extensions run with the privileges of the user that has opened the VS Code without any sandbox,” Goldman said, explaining the potential risks of using VS Code extensions. “This means that the extension can install any program on your computer including ransomwares, wipers, and more.”

To that end, Aqua found that not only is it possible for a threat actor to impersonate a popular extension with small variations to the URL, the marketplace also allows the adversary to use the same name and extension publisher details, including the project repository information.

images from Hacker News