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
  • 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, attackers looking to gain execution have often focused on malicious additions to legitimate software in software distribution or update channels. 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. 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, specifically with the widespread usage of third-party advertising libraries.[1][2]

ID: T1474
Sub-techniques:  T1474.001, T1474.002, T1474.003
Tactic Type: Post-Adversary Device Access
Tactic: Initial Access
Platforms: Android, iOS
Version: 2.1
Created: 17 October 2018
Last Modified: 20 March 2023


ID Mitigation Description
M1013 Application Developer Guidance

Application developers should be cautious when selecting third-party libraries to integrate into their application.

M1001 Security Updates

Security updates may contain patches for devices that were compromised at the supply chain level.


ID Data Source Data Component Detects
DS0041 Application Vetting API Calls

Usage of insecure or malicious third-party libraries could be detected by application vetting services. Malicious software development tools could be detected by enterprises that deploy endpoint protection software on computers that are used to develop mobile apps. Application vetting could detect the usage of insecure or malicious third-party libraries.