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Researchers Identify Dependency Confusion Vulnerability in Apache Cordova App Harness

What is Dependency Confusion?

Dependency confusion is a type of cyberattack where hackers exploit how package managers handle dependencies when downloading and installing software libraries. Instead of using the official registry, attackers upload a malicious package to a public repository with the same name as a legitimate one hosted on a private registry.

When developers use package managers to download libraries, the manager checks the public repository first, downloads the malicious package, and installs it on the system instead of the legitimate one hosted on a private registry. This can lead to severe consequences like data breaches, system crashes, and other security issues.

Details of the Apache Cordova Harness

The Apache Cordova Harness is an open-source project that enables developers to create mobile applications using technologies, such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. It is no longer actively maintained, but many developers still use it to build mobile .

Security researchers discovered that the in Apache Cordova Harness arises due to how the project's package manager, npm, handles dependencies. When installing packages, npm checks the public repository first, which makes it possible for attackers to upload a malicious package with the same name as a legitimate one to a public repository.

Impact and Mitigation

If exploited, this could lead to severe consequences, including data breaches, system crashes, and loss of confidential information. Fortunately, the Apache Software Foundation has released a patch to fix the vulnerability in the latest version of Apache Cordova Harness.

Developers who use Apache Cordova Harness are advised to update their packages to the latest version as soon as possible. Additionally, they should carefully verify their download packages and use package managers that support authentication and encryption.

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