GitHub says hackers cloned code-signing certificates in breached repository | Frost Tech

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GitHub mentioned that unknown intruders gained unauthorized entry to a few of its code repositories and stole code signing certificates for 2 of its desktop purposes: Desktop and Atom.

Code signing certificates put a cryptographic seal on the code to confirm that it was developed by the named group, which on this case is GitHub. If cracked, the certificates might enable an attacker to signal unofficial variations of maliciously tampered purposes and move them off as reputable GitHub updates. Present variations of Desktop and Atom will not be affected by credential theft.

“A set of encrypted code signing certificates was exfiltrated; nevertheless, the certificates had been password protected and we’ve got no proof of malicious use,” the corporate wrote in a discover. “As a preventative measure, we’ll revoke the uncovered certificates used for GitHub Desktop and Atom apps.”

The revocations, which take impact Thursday, will trigger sure variations of the apps to cease working. These purposes are:

GitHub Desktop for Mac with the next variations:

  • 3.1.2
  • 3.1.1
  • 3.1.0
  • 3.0.8
  • 3.0.7
  • 3.0.6
  • 3.0.5
  • 3.0.4
  • 3.0.3
  • 3.0.2


Desktop for Home windows is just not affected.

On January 4, GitHub revealed a brand new model of the desktop app that’s signed with new certificates that weren’t uncovered to the risk actor. Desktop customers ought to replace to this new model.

One compromised certificates expired on January 4, and one other will expire on Thursday. Revoking these certificates offers safety in the event that they had been used earlier than they expired to signal malicious updates. With out the revocation, such purposes would move signature verification. Revocation has the impact of inflicting all code to fail signature verification, no matter when it was signed.

A 3rd affected certificates, an Apple Developer ID certificates, is not going to expire till 2027. GitHub may even revoke this certificates on Thursday. In the meantime, GitHub mentioned: “We’re working with Apple to observe any new executable information (comparable to apps) signed with the uncovered certificates.”

On December 6, GitHub mentioned, the risk actor used a compromised private entry token (PAT) to clone repositories for Desktop, Atom, and different outdated organizations owned by GitHub. GitHub revoked the PAT in the future after discovering the breach. Not one of the cloned repositories contained buyer information. The discover didn’t clarify how the PAT was compromised.

Listed within the repositories had been “numerous encrypted code signing certificates” that GitHub makes use of to signal releases of the Desktop and Atom apps. Shoppers shouldn’t have direct entry. There isn’t a proof that the risk actor can decrypt or use any of the certificates.

“We investigated the content material of the compromised repositories and located no impression on or any of our different choices outdoors of the particular certificates listed above,” the discover mentioned. “No unauthorized adjustments had been made to the code in these repositories.”

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GitHub says hackers cloned code-signing certificates in breached repository