GitHub Adds New Tools to Help Developers Secure Code

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Microsoft-owned GitHub on Thursday announced the introduction of several new security tools and features designed to help developers secure their code.

The code hosting service in 2017 launched a new security feature designed to warn developers if the software libraries used by their projects contain any known vulnerabilities. Since the introduction of the security alerts has resulted in significantly fewer vulnerable code libraries on the platform, GitHub has continued to make improvements and it has now announced even more enhancements as a result of a partnership with WhiteSource.

The partnership helps GitHub broaden coverage of security flaws in open source projects and allows it to provide even more details that should help developers assess and address vulnerabilities.

Another new tool is Dependency Insights, which helps enterprises gain full visibility into their dependencies — including vulnerabilities and licenses — and better understand their exposure.

GitHub also announced the general availability of its token scanner, through which it scans public repositories in search of tokens have not been accidentally committed. The service can detect exposed credentials for Alibaba Cloud, AWS, Azure, GitHub, Google Cloud, Slack, Mailgun, Twilio and Stripe.

The company also informed users that it has acquired Dependabot, a management tool that helps GitHub users keep their dependencies up to date. Through the integration with Dependabot, first announced earlier this year, a project’s dependencies will be monitored for vulnerabilities and pull requests containing patches will be automatically opened.

Other improvements made by GitHub focus on the fact that most open source projects don’t have a dedicated security team to respond to vulnerability reports. That it why the company has introduced the beta version of maintainer security advisories, which provides project maintainers a private place where they can discuss and patch vulnerabilities, and publish security advisories for their users.

In addition, maintainers can now develop a security policy for individuals who want to report flaws found in their code. Organizations can create one security policy that they can apply to all their repositories.

Related: GitHub to Warn Users on Compromised Passwords

Related: GitHub Increases Bug Bounty Program Rewards, Expands Scope

Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.

Previous Columns by Eduard Kovacs:
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