Feeds

Huge horde of droids whacks code box GitHub in password-guess attack

That's an awful lot of angry SVN users, in there

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Miscreants have fired up a large army of remote-controlled computers to get around GitHub's login rate-limiting policies, designed to thwart attempts to brute-force guess the passwords for its users' accounts.

The bots, most likely unwitting PCs compromised by malware, have attacked the online source-code repository from "nearly 40,000 unique IP addresses", each trying to crack programmers' passwords, the company said this week.

"These addresses were used to slowly brute force weak passwords or passwords used on multiple sites. We are working on additional rate-limiting measures to address this," the website's team wrote.

While GitHub tries to develop new tech, it has rolled out a blocklist of commonly used weak passwords that people can no longer use on the service.

It has also reacted proactively "out of an abundance of caution," and has reset some user accounts' login credentials "even if a strong password was being used. Activity on these accounts showed logins from IP addresses involved in this incident."

As usual, the company recommended users consider enable two-factor authentication to their accounts to provide another line of defense against nefarious hacker probes.

GitHub is a popular target of hackers thanks to the vast piles of source code and suchlike material stored on it, some of which are held in private repositories. It has been a repeated victim of distributed denial-of-service attacks, and fell offline in early October after being hit by a huge multi-day attack.

It strikes us that GitHub's recent bout of probing may stem from crackers using the 38 million user details that were sucked out of Adobe recently to check for duplicate logins on other sites. Never use the same password and username combination on other sites, no matter how fringe. ®

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.