GitHub subject to password reuse attack

Hackers are trying to gain access to user accounts using details obtained from other websites

GitHub is the latest service to be targeted by criminals attempting to use passwords obtained from other data hacks.

The company revealed an attacker had tried to use a list of email addresses and passwords from services that have been compromised in the past and some accounts have been accessed, although the organisation could not reveal how many.

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GitHub also said that, although it is not known what the criminals have managed to do to the accounts they successfully broke into, it is likely some personal information may have been exposed.

"For affected accounts, usernames and passwords are involved. Additionally, for some accounts, other personal information including listings of accessible repositories and organisations may have been exposed," Shawn Davenport, VP of Security at GitHub, wrote on the company's blog.

He said those whose accounts has been impacted were being contacted and their passwords had been reset.

"We encourage all users to practice good password hygiene and enable two-factor authentication to protect your account," Davenport continued.

"These attacks often evolve, and we're continuing to investigate and monitor for new attack vectors. Please keep an eye on our blog and on Twitter for pertinent updates, or contact Support if you have any questions."

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GitHub's own servers had not been attacked, so its users' details are still safely protected from hackers.

Online sources including TechCrunch have speculated that the email addresses and passwords may be linked to last month's LinkedIn data leak, which resulted in than 100 million members' emails and passwords being dumped online.

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