In the evolving landscape of cybersecurity threats, GitHub, a popular collaborative coding and version control platform, has emerged as a new frontier for cybercriminals and advanced persistent threats (APTs). This article delves into the multifaceted ways GitHub is exploited for malicious infrastructure, the challenges posed to cybersecurity and effective strategies for mitigation.
Understanding the Threat
GitHub’s services, integral to numerous legitimate operations, are being hijacked for a wide range of malicious infrastructure schemes. Key abuses include payload delivery, dead drop resolving (DDR), full command-and-control (C2), and exfiltration. This exploitation, termed “living-off-trusted-sites” (LOTS), enables adversaries to blend seamlessly into legitimate network traffic, bypass traditional security defenses, and complicate the tracking of upstream infrastructure and actor attribution.
While GitHub offers a platform for efficient and collaborative development, it simultaneously presents a low-cost, high-uptime, and easily accessible medium for threat actors. However, it’s not without drawbacks for them. GitHub’s inherent limitations, like file size restrictions and heightened visibility into hosted infrastructure, pose challenges to malicious users.