Supply Chain Compromise

Adversaries may manipulate products or product delivery mechanisms prior to receipt by a final consumer for the purpose of data or system compromise.

Supply chain compromise can take place at any stage of the supply chain including:

  • Manipulation of development tools
  • Manipulation of a development environment
  • Manipulation of source code repositories (public or private)
  • Manipulation of source code in open-source dependencies
  • Manipulation of software update/distribution mechanisms
  • Compromised/infected system images (multiple cases of removable media infected at the factory)[1][2]
  • Replacement of legitimate software with modified versions
  • Sales of modified/counterfeit products to legitimate distributors
  • Shipment interdiction

While supply chain compromise can impact any component of hardware or software, adversaries looking to gain execution have often focused on malicious additions to legitimate software in software distribution or update channels.[3][4][5] Targeting may be specific to a desired victim set or malicious software may be distributed to a broad set of consumers but only move on to additional tactics on specific victims.[6][3][5] Popular open source projects that are used as dependencies in many applications may also be targeted as a means to add malicious code to users of the dependency.[7]

ID: T1195
Sub-techniques:  T1195.001, T1195.002, T1195.003
Tactic: Initial Access
Platforms: Linux, Windows, macOS
Contributors: Veeral Patel
Version: 1.6
Created: 18 April 2018
Last Modified: 26 February 2024


ID Mitigation Description
M1013 Application Developer Guidance

Application developers should be cautious when selecting third-party libraries to integrate into their application. Additionally, where possible, developers should lock software dependencies to specific versions rather than pulling the latest version on build.[8]

M1046 Boot Integrity

Use secure methods to boot a system and verify the integrity of the operating system and loading mechanisms.

M1033 Limit Software Installation

Where possible, consider requiring developers to pull from internal repositories containing verified and approved packages rather than from external ones.[8]

M1051 Update Software

A patch management process should be implemented to check unused dependencies, unmaintained and/or previously vulnerable dependencies, unnecessary features, components, files, and documentation.

M1016 Vulnerability Scanning

Continuous monitoring of vulnerability sources and the use of automatic and manual code review tools should also be implemented as well.[9]


ID Data Source Data Component Detects
DS0022 File File Metadata

Use verification of distributed binaries through hash checking or other integrity checking mechanisms. Scan downloads for malicious signatures and attempt to test software and updates prior to deployment while taking note of potential suspicious activity.

DS0013 Sensor Health Host Status

Perform physical inspection of hardware to look for potential tampering. Perform integrity checking on pre-OS boot mechanisms that can be manipulated for malicious purposes and compare against known good baseline behavior.