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GitHub Announces Mandatory 2FA for Code Contributors

Code hosting platform GitHub on Wednesday said it would make it mandatory for software developers to use at least one form of two-factor authentication (2FA) by the end of 2023.

Code hosting platform GitHub on Wednesday said it would make it mandatory for software developers to use at least one form of two-factor authentication (2FA) by the end of 2023.

The Microsoft-owned platform has been supporting 2FA for years and is allowing users to use physical and virtual security keys, Time-based One-Time Password (TOTP) authenticator apps, and SMS as a second form of authentication. .

Lately, GitHub made various steps toward further improving the security of user accounts, including by hunting for and invalidating known-compromised passwords, and by no longer accepting account passwords for authenticating Git operations.

“At GitHub, we believe that our unique position as the home for all developers means that we have both an opportunity and a responsibility to raise the bar for security across the software development ecosystem,” the company said.

[ READ: Why Are Users Ignoring Multi-Factor Authentication]

Given the recent increase in supply chain attacks, GitHub’s upcoming mandatory 2FA requirement is meant to keep all developer accounts on GitHub.com better secured, to prevent other repositories from being breached.

“As part of a platform-wide effort to secure the software ecosystem through improving account security, we’re announcing that GitHub will require all users who contribute code on GitHub.com to enable one or more forms of two-factor authentication (2FA) by the end of 2023,” the platform announced.

GitHub also says it will explore passwordless authentication and other ways of securely authenticating users to offer an optimized login experience. More authentication and account recovery options, as well as improved account compromise prevention and recovery are expected for all developers.

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Following the compromise of developer accounts for the takeover of npm packages in November 2021, GitHub introduced various account security improvements, such as the enrollment of top-100 npm package maintainers to 2FA, and the rollout of enhanced login verification for all npm accounts in March.

At the end of May 2022, mandatory 2FA will roll out for the top-500 npm packages and, during the third quarter of the year, all maintainers of high-impact packages – those that have over 500 dependents or 1 million weekly downloads – will be enrolled in 2FA, GitHub announced.

Related: GitHub Says Recent Attack Was Highly Targeted

Related: GitHub Encourages Users to Adopt Two-Factor Authentication

Related: Google Teams Up With GitHub for Supply Chain Security

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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