Supply Chain Compromise

As further described in Supply Chain Compromise, supply chain compromise is the manipulation of products or product delivery mechanisms prior to receipt by a final consumer for the purpose of data or system compromise. Somewhat related, adversaries could also identify and exploit inadvertently present vulnerabilities. In many cases, it may be difficult to be certain whether exploitable functionality is due to malicious intent or simply inadvertent mistake.

Third-party libraries incorporated into mobile apps could contain malicious behavior, privacy-invasive behavior, or exploitable vulnerabilities. An adversary could deliberately insert malicious behavior or could exploit inadvertent vulnerabilities. For example, security issues have previously been identified in third-party advertising libraries incorporated into apps.[1][2].

ID: T1474
Sub-techniques:  No sub-techniques
Tactic Type: Post-Adversary Device Access
Tactic: Initial Access
Platforms: Android, iOS
Version: 1.1
Created: 17 October 2018
Last Modified: 10 March 2021

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
S0309 Adups

Adups was pre-installed on Android devices from some vendors.[3][4]

S0319 Allwinner

A Linux kernel distributed by Allwinner reportedly contained an simple backdoor that could be used to obtain root access. It was believed to have been left in the kernel by mistake by the authors.[5]


CHEMISTGAMES has been distributed as updates to legitimate applications. This was accomplished by compromising legitimate app developers, and subsequently gaining access to their Google Play Store developer account.[6]

S0328 Stealth Mango

In at least one case, Stealth Mango may have been installed using physical access to the device by a repair shop.[7]

S0424 Triada

Triada was added into the Android system by a third-party vendor identified as Yehuo or Blazefire during the production process.[8] [9]

S0297 XcodeGhost

XcodeGhost was injected into apps by a modified version of Xcode (Apple's software development tool).[10][11]


This type of attack technique cannot be easily mitigated with preventive controls since it is based on the abuse of system features.


  • Insecure third-party libraries could be detected by application vetting techniques. For example, Google's App Security Improvement Program detects the use of third-party libraries with known vulnerabilities within Android apps submitted to the Google Play Store.
  • Malicious software development tools could be detected by enterprises deploying integrity checking software to the computers that they use to develop code to detect presence of unauthorized, modified software development tools.