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GitHub Vulnerability: Key Rotation Amid High-Severity Threat

Wajahat Raja

February 1, 2024 - TuxCare expert team

In recent developments, GitHub, a Microsoft-owned subsidiary, has taken proactive measures to address a security vulnerability potentially exposing credentials within production containers. In this article, we’ll analyze the GitHub vulnerability incident, shedding light on the key rotations and the security landscape surrounding the issue.

GitHub Vulnerability Discovery and Immediate Action

GitHub became aware of the vulnerability on December 26, 2023, swiftly responding on the same day to rectify the situation. The company, as a precautionary measure, rotated several keys, including the GitHub commit signing key, GitHub Actions, GitHub Codespaces, and Dependabot customer encryption keys.

Scope of GitHub Vulnerability

The identified vulnerability, tagged as CVE-2024-0200 with a CVSS score of 7.2, has not shown any signs of being exploited in the wild. GitHub’s Jacob DePriest clarified that while the vulnerability is present in the GitHub Enterprise Server (GHES), exploiting it requires an authenticated user with an organization owner role to be logged into an account on the GHES instance. This significantly mitigates the potential for exploitation.

Mitigation Measures Against Remote Code Execution Vulnerabilities

GitHub classified the vulnerability as a case of “unsafe reflection” in GHES, potentially leading to reflection injection and remote code execution. Code injection is a critical cybersecurity concern that requires diligent measures for prevention. To address this, patches have been released in GHES versions 3.8.13, 3.9.8, 3.10.5, and 3.11.3. The company has taken a proactive stance to secure its systems against possible exploits.

Additional Vulnerability Addressed

In tandem with the key rotations, GitHub tackled another high-severity vulnerability, labeled CVE-2024-0507 with a CVSS score of 6.5. This vulnerability could allow an attacker with access to a Management Console user account with the editor role to privilege escalation via command injection.

Previous GitHub Security Measures

GitHub’s recent actions echo its commitment to security, reminiscent of the replacement of its RSA SSH host key used for securing Git operations nearly a year ago. The decision to replace the key was taken “out of an abundance of caution” following a brief GitHub credential exposure in a public repository.

Guidance for GitHub Users

GitHub has issued guidance for users, especially those utilizing GitHub Codespaces with commit signing enabled. Users falling into this category who have not pushed commits created before January 16 from the codespace to the GitHub repository are advised to push them by January 23. Failing to do so will result in these commits no longer being marked as verified unless they are resigned.

Key Considerations

Users relying on GitHub Actions, GitHub Codespaces, and Dependabot encryption keys are urged to take note of the rotations. Those who cached or hardcoded the related public keys should pull the keys from the API to ensure they have the most recent versions.

Continuous Vigilance

GitHub emphasizes the importance of regular verification of commits outside of the platform, as well as vulnerability patching. Users conducting verifications, including those in GHES, are encouraged to import the new public key hosted by GitHub. Regularly pulling the public key is recommended to ensure the usage of the most current data from GitHub, facilitating seamless adoption of new keys in the future.


In the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity, incidents like these underscore the significance of swift response and cybersecurity best practices. GitHub’s prompt action in rotating keys and addressing vulnerabilities exemplifies a commitment to user security. It’s essential for organizations to stay vigilant in gaining insights into such developments, ensuring that users stay informed and well-protected.


The sources for this piece include articles in The Hacker News and SecurityWeek

GitHub Vulnerability: Key Rotation Amid High-Severity Threat
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GitHub Vulnerability: Key Rotation Amid High-Severity Threat
Discover the latest on GitHub vulnerability mitigation and learn how key rotation safeguards against high-severity threats.
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