What Is a Supply Chain Attack?

A supply chain attack, also sometimes called value chain, third-party attack, or backdoor breach is when threat actors hack an organization’s supplier or third-party vendor that has access to a company’s data to eventually infiltrate the targeted organization’s network. This usually happens by inserting malicious code into a vendor’s legitimate software.

How Does a Supply Chain Attack Work?

A supply chain attack works this way: hackers look for network protocols that are not secure. They also look for vulnerable server infrastructures and also for unsafe coding practices. Once they infiltrate, perform changes on the source code followed by injecting malware in software builds and update processes of suppliers or vendors.

Then, the vendors who will release and sign that software will not be aware of the fact that this might encompass malicious code, so the software goes live signed and certified. This way, the customers that buy this compromised software are infected with malware once the software runs on their endpoints, as the malicious code will be launched owning the same permissions as the software it runs along with.

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are often preferred by hackers when developing a supply chain attack due to their extended access to

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