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Discussion on: How I exploited NPM downloads... and why you shouldn't trust them

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oguimbal profile image
Olivier Guimbal • Edited

I agree... You could argue the same with security:

I can create an exploit in an npm package -> everyone does -> npm is fundamentally unsafe.

That is kind of true, but no one stops using npm for this reason. I guess the same goes for every metric. Who guarantees you that a project github stars dont come from a clickfarm ?

When using a npm package, you're trusting its author, to some extend.

(This is fun to see that npm doesnt even try to protect itself against this, though)

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moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

That's not what the post is getting at (to my reading). The equivalent would be, I think:

There happens to be wild fluctuations in the number of exploits accidentally appearing in npm packages due to cosmic rays -> I can demonstrate getting an exploit into an hyperbolic number of npm packages to prove a point -> npm is fundamentally unsafe.

It's talking about how the metric is useless even in telling you how many unique users downloaded a package, or how often something caches it or runs a build job.

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