GitHub Resets Passwords
Monday, June 20, 2016 @ 06:06 PM gHale
GitHub went into password reset mode for all users affected by a series of automated login attempts the company discovered last week.
While it did not suffer a hack attack, it appears someone used credentials leaked during recent mega breaches to access GitHub user accounts.
“This appears to be the result of an attacker using lists of email addresses and passwords from other online services that have been compromised in the past, and trying them on GitHub accounts,” GitHub’s Shawn Davenport said in a blog post.
The good news is GitHub’s engineers detected the attack immediately after it happened, last Tuesday night.
A subsequent investigation revealed a third-party was testing a large number of usernames and passwords. GitHub said the attackers did gain access to some accounts.
For all affected accounts, GitHub said it started sending password reset notifications. The company is also urging users to take a look at their password’s complexity level, and optionally enable two-factor authentication for their accounts.
Why would someone try to access GitHub accounts first, and not social media profiles? The answer is that some GitHub users have access to private repos.
These private repos host the source code of enterprise software, which in some cases may end up used for crucial infrastructure.
Companies like Netflix and Facebook beat GitHub to the punch by acquiring some of the data leaked during recent mega breaches and starting a preemptive password reset for all exposed users.
Some of the companies that suffered massive data leaks include LinkedIn (117 million credentials), Myspace (360 million credentials), Tumblr (65 million credentials), VK (100 million credentials), Fling.com (40 million credentials), and most recently, iMesh (51 million credentials) and VerticalScope (45 million credentials).