GitHub Offers Secret Scanning To All Public Repos For Free

GitHub is bringing free scanning of exposed secrets (such as authentication and credentials tokens) to all public repositories on its code-hosting system.

The rollout is part of GitHub’s secret scan partner program, which was created to alert over 100 service providers to token vulnerability in public repositories.

Secret scanning is a security feature that organizations can enable to identify the unintentional disclosure of known forms of secrets.

Previously, organizations having a GitHub Advanced Security license and using GitHub Enterprise Cloud were the only ones with access to the secret scanning service.

GitHub Secret Scan

GitHub searches repositories for approximately 200 token formats, including:

  • Authentication tokens
  • API keys
  • Access tokens
  • Credentials
  • Management certificates
  • Secret and private keys

And more. This would typically take 327 days to detect, and it has already alerted its partners to 1.7 million possible secrets exposed in open-source projects.

Vulnerabilities in open-source code can have a global ripple effect across the millions of people and services that rely on itMariam Sulakian, senior product manager at GitHub

Once activated on a repository, GitHub will instantly warn developers of secrets exposed in code, enabling businesses to track alerts, locate the source of leaks, and swiftly take action to stop the fraudulent use of any secrets accidentally committed to a public repository.

You may view all identified secrets by selecting Secret Scans on your repository’s ‘Security’ tab under ‘Vulnerability Alerts’.

In terms of daily figures, GitHub discovers over 4,500 possible secrets exposed in open repositories

There will be a listing of all identified secrets, and you can tap on any of them to view their location, the compromised secret, and potential solutions.

The rollout has already started in beta form, and GitHub anticipates providing all members access by the end of January 2023. The business has also directed a discussion board where users may ask for early access or go into greater depth about the product.

With an emphasis on the company’s dedication to security, GitHub will mandate that all its developers turn on two-factor authentication for their accounts by the end of 2023, impacting around 94 million users.

Announced in May, the requirement will be pushed to the beginning of March 2023 and is predicted to reach all developers and contributors by the end of the year.

Mandatory 2FA

Mandatory 2FA targets customers who publish OAuth apps or packages — or GitHub, those who make a release, organization and enterprise administrators, and those who contribute code to the top four million private and public repositories or repositories deemed significant by NPM, OpenSSF, RubyGems, or PyPI.

This mandatory verification will be announced to a few users in March 2023, giving GitHub a chance to evaluate it before pushing it out to all its users

The platform will begin reminding the targeted users 45 days before the obligatory 2FA deadline, encourage them to activate the feature every time they access GitHub, and, seven days after the deadline, restrict their accounts from using the platform’s functions until 2FA is enabled.

Organizations can use secret scanning as an extra repository scanning security option to look for the accidental disclosure of known categories of secrets.

It operates by matching patterns offered by service providers and partners with patterns established by the company. Each match is notified as a security alert in the Security tab of the repositories or if it’s prompted to partners by a partner pattern.