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GitHub push protection now on by default for public repositories

GitHub push protection – a security feature aimed at preventing secrets such as API keys or tokens getting accidentally leaked online – is being switched on by default for all public repositories.

Since the beginning of this year, GitHub has detected over 1 million leaked secrets on public repositories, the company also shared.

GitHub has made push protection available to owners of all public repositories last year, but now it’s switching it on by default.

Push protection scans code commits before they get pushed and, if they contain a secret, developers get an alert in their integrated development environment or command line interface.

“Although we don’t recommend it, you can also disable push protection entirely in your user security settings. However, since you always retain the option to bypass the block, we recommend that you leave push protection enabled and make exceptions on an as-needed basis,” GitHub’s Eric Tooley and Courtney Claessens explained.

“Older versions of certain tokens may not be supported by push protection as these tokens may generate a higher number of false positives than their most recent version. Push protection may also not apply to legacy tokens. For tokens such as Azure Storage Keys, GitHub only supports recently created tokens, not tokens that match the legacy patterns,” the company notes.

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