Last week the popular software code hosting service GitHub has introduced a new feature to protect its users, it will alert them whenever it detects that a password has been compromised in a third-party data breach.
GitHub has teamed with the HaveIBeenPwned.com service, managed by the cybersecurity expert Troy Hunt, to provide implement a feature that allows users to check whether their credentials have been involved in known data breaches.
“Common password advice is to use a long and unique password for each website you have an account with. It’s challenging to remember a strong and unique password for each website without either using a password manager or using a trivially discovered theme. As a result, password reuse is extremely prevalent. Regardless of the strength of a password, a single breach can nullify its security when used elsewhere.” reads the advisory published by GitHub.
“While Troy hosts a service that people and services can use to check for compromised passwords, he also generously made the approximately 517 million record dataset available for download. Using this data, GitHub created an internal version of this service so that we can validate whether a user’s password has been found in any publicly available sets of breach data.”
GitHub has developed service that leverages the 517 million record dataset provided by Huntto “validate whether a user’s password has been found in any publicly available sets of breach data.”
The feature will alert users that are using compromised credentials and ask them to change them during login, registration, or during a password change.
The service will store Github the hashed passwords using the bcrypt algorithm.
“Don’t worry, your password is protected by the password hashing function bcrypt in our database. We only verify whether your password has been compromised when you provide it to us,” continues GitHub.
GitHub encourages the use of two-factor authentication (2FA), those users that have enabled it will receive periodic warnings to review the 2FA setup and recovery options.
“If you have two-factor authentication enabled, GitHub will now periodically remind you to review your 2FA setup and recovery options. We highly recommend using a 2FA authenticator application that supports cloud backups in the event your phone is lost, stolen, or falls in the ocean.” continues the advisory.
In June, Microsoft announced the acquisition of GitHub for $7.5 billion in Microsoft stock and the hosting service is improving its security by introducing new measures, including the enforcing of SSL/TLS.