New Tool Will Find Secrets – Including Crypto Keys – in Your Public Code

A clever tool scours GitHub for secret keys and passwords that programmers inadvertently made public.

AccessTimeIconOct 29, 2019 at 6:01 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 11:38 a.m. UTC

Coding crypto projects is hard enough without running the risk of losing your private keys. Shhgit, a webapp and downloadable tool by Paul Price aims at least to reduce the chance of that happening.

The app, which is open source, scans code repository GitHub for dangerous files and data. As a beginning coder, you may have left your password data or private keys inside public repository without realizing. When this happens, hackers and other nasties can easily access your stuff.

"Finding these secrets across GitHub is nothing new," wrote Price, a programmer and security expert who goes by the handle Darkport. "There are many open-source tools available to help with this depending on which side of the fence you sit. On the adversary side, popular tools such as gitrob and truggleHog focus on digging in to commit history to find secret tokens from specific repositories, users or organizations."

Sshgit is more public about these secrets: it offers a front-end that simply displays them as they appear on GitHub. This means hackers could watch it for potential places to exploit. But it also encourages safe coding because users know their public repositories are insecure.

Not everything sshgit uncovers is dangerous information but you can also set it to search for signatures that you're particularly interested in, like, say, ethereum wallet addresses.

As someone who once committed the private keys for a bitcoin wallet to a public GitHub account, let me tell you: I could have used this a few years ago.

The product is free, downloadable here. Price is looking for sponsors to pay for hosting because, as you can imagine, his traffic is quite high as people search for secrets.

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Keys image via Shutterstock


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