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GitHub Under Cyber Threat as Thousands of Infected Repositories Emerge

Evading detection.
Ryan Uliss
Contributing Writer
The image features a pile of computer keys, each with the GitHub logo printed on the keycap.

Recent research has unveiled a large-scale cybersecurity threat on GitHub, where attackers have registered over 100,000 malicious repositories, exploiting the “repo confusion” tactic. This scheme involves cloning, infecting, and re-uploading legitimate repositories with slight modifications, aiming to trick developers into downloading these infected copies.

Despite GitHub’s efforts to remove these fakes through automatic security mechanisms, many malicious repositories continue to evade detection. The repo confusion campaign highlights the ease with which attackers can exploit GitHub’s automated systems, as well as human error, to infiltrate the software development pipeline.

Why it matters: This method of attack not only compromises the integrity of individual projects but also introduces downstream supply chain risks, as the malware embedded within these repositories can spread discreetly across many different applications and platforms.

  • Automated Campaign at Scale: Attackers are leveraging automation to clone, infect, and re-upload thousands of repositories, using this volume to bypass GitHub’s security mechanisms. The scale and speed of this operation make it challenging for automated defenses to catch every malicious repo.
  • BlackCap Grabber Malware: The malicious code hidden within these repositories, often a version of BlackCap Grabber, is designed to steal sensitive data such as credentials and browser cookies, posing significant privacy and security risks to individuals and organizations alike.
  • Implications for GitHub and Developers: This infiltration of malicious repositories underscores vulnerabilities in GitHub’s platform and the broader software development ecosystem. Developers, especially those working under tight deadlines or managing multiple projects, are particularly vulnerable to this type of attack.

Go Deeper -> Millions of Malicious Repositories Flood GitHub – Dark Reading

GitHub Besieged by Millions of Malicious Repositories in Ongoing Attack – ARS Technica

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