GitHub Leak Monitoring

If your company is developing applications or software of any kind, your developers are probably using GitHub. If you are, you’re in good company: as of 2023 more than 90% of Fortune 100 companies are using the platform. GitHub allows developers to create, store, and collaborate on their code, but it’s also easy to leak sensitive information on the platform. For this reason, GitHub leak monitoring is an essential part of an organization’s security controls. 

Monitoring GitHub with Flare

Why do security teams use Flare to monitor GitHub? 

Monitoring GitHub for leaked credentials is a critical security task, but it’s not an easy one. Manually scanning GitHub and online repositories for leaked data can be a time-consuming and tedious process for security teams. 

How does Flare answer GitHub monitoring needs?

Security teams know they need to surveiller GitHub because GitHub repositories often store sensitive information in plaintext, making them attractive targets for cybercriminals. However, this time-consuming, manual process can lead to errors and les violations de données

What are the key benefits of Flare’s data leak monitoring solution? 

  • Visibility into your data leaks: Leaks aren’t always visible; you might not know that data has even been leaked until that leak becomes a data breach. Flare’s data leak monitoring solution scans the dark and clear web, as well as illicit Telegram channels, to find leaks before an attack happens. 
  • Contrôle continu: No one person can scan the web for leaks around the clock. Using a solution that scans for you gives you 24/7 coverage, so you will know as soon as a secret is leaked. 
  • A proactive security stance: You might not be able to stop every leak, but by actively seeking them out, you can catch secrets before an attacker exploits them.

GitHub Leaks: A Brief Overview

GitHub leaks are situations where sensitive or confidential information is unintentionally exposed or disclosed within repositories hosted on the GitHub platform. Leaks can involve a variety of sensitive data, such as API keys, passwords, access tokens, or proprietary code. Due to the collaborative and open nature of GitHub, developers may inadvertently commit and push code containing these confidential details. 

What are GitHub secrets? 

GitHub uses the term “secrets” to refer to any digital authentication credentials that enable services, infrastructures, and applications interoperability. For example, secrets can include the following: 

  • 0Jetons d'authentification
  • Clés API
  • Nom d'utilisateur
  • mots de passe
  • Clés de chiffrement
  • Certificats de sécurité 
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What are the possible consequences of leaked GitHub secrets? 

When GitHub secrets are accidentally committed and pushed to a public repository, they can cause major security issues. Threat actors can use the secrets to get access to private networks, databases, cloud resources, and more. This can lead to data breaches, damage to your infrastructure, financial theft, and reputational damage. 

How can you protect your GitHub secrets?

Preventing GitHub leaks isn’t impossible. It takes a combination of good cyber hygiene and proactive security controls:

  • Limit access to repositories: Not everyone needs every access to your code. Use the principle of least privilege by limiting who can read and change code.
  • Exiger des mots de passe forts : Best password practices are critical; threat actors count on reused passwords when attempting to force their way into your accounts. 
  • Scan for hard coded credentials: Detect risks as soon as possible by scanning your repository for hardcoded credentials. Then you can take action by removing the code.
  • Monitor your team’s personal repositories: Sometimes team members accidentally push secrets to their own repositories instead of yours, and GitHub repositories are set to public by default. Use workflows to help you find any such errors. 
  • Scan GitHub for leaked code: Leaked code might not be in the repositories where you expect to find it. By scanning GitHub for leaked code, you can search the whole platform for potentially compromised secrets. 

Why do you need to monitor GitHub for leaks right now? 

Is GitHub safe and secure? 

While GitHub can be safe and secure, it’s also been a source of many leaks, both accidental and malicious. Much of the problem is volume-related: developers are constantly making changes to their projects. With more than 100 million repositories and thousands of new commits every minute, there’s an increased risk of human error. It’s possible to accidentally commit a secret that is then pushed to a repository. Mistakes are easy to make, when you’re dealing with that much code — especially if a developer is on deadline for a project. Reports have found that developers hardcode secrets into GitHub repositories fairly regularly— this means the secrets are encoded as plaintext in the source code, which is a security risk. It’s also possible for secrets to be pushed to publicly accessible repositories rather than to the private repositories they are supposed to go to. 

Why do developers hardcode GitHub secrets? 

Hardcoding secrets makes developers’ work easier, even if it’s not a best security practice. With hardcoded secrets, developers can share and test code quickly, without needing to manually input every credential every time. Unfortunately, that means the secrets are stored in plaintext in the source code, and whenever the developer clones, forks, or checks out the source code, the secrets are once again pushed. 

How do threat actors target GitHub secrets?

Criminals are well aware of how possible it is for developers to inadvertently commit and push secrets on GitHub, and are happy to scan public repositories in order to find accidentally-leaked credentials. However, threat actors also actively target private repositories to access sensitive data. They do this by using many of the TTPs used for other sorts of attacks, such as exploiting weaknesses within GitHub, social engineering, and exploiting shared and reused passwords.  

GitHub Leak Monitoring and Flare

Flare est le leader Gestion de l'exposition aux menaces (TEM) solution for organizations. Our technology constantly scans the online world, including the clear & dark web, to discover unknown events, automatically prioritize risks, and deliver actionable intelligence you can use instantly to improve security. Monitor data leaks with Flare to ensure your GitHub secrets stay just that — secret.

Our solution integrates into your security program in 30 minutes to provide your team with actionable intelligence and automated remediation for high-risk exposure. 

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