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Friday, 29 June 2018 09:07

Gentoo Linux GitHub mirror hacked, content modified

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The GitHub mirror of the Gentoo Linux distribution has been compromised and the project behind Gentoo is warning users not to use code from this source.

In a statement, the Gentoo leadership said some unknown individuals had gained control of the GitHub Gentoo mirror on 28 June at 20.20 UTC and modified the content and pages.

Gentoo is a Linux distribution meant for advanced users. The source is compiled locally depending on user preferences and is often optimised for specific hardware.

Some larger packages are offered as precompiled binaries with the same applying to those which have no source code available.

GitHub was recently acquired by Microsoft for US$7.5 billion (A$9.79 billion) in Microsoft stock.

As iTWire  reported, the NSA could now have access to the source code stored on the site, if Microsoft's past practices of allowing the agency access to its systems are any guide.

The Gentoo project said: "We are still working to determine the exact extent and to regain control of the mirror and its repositories. All Gentoo code hosted on GitHub should, for the moment, be considered compromised."

The project said that this did not affect any code hosted on the Gentoo infrastructure. "Since the master Gentoo ebuild repository is hosted on our own infrastructure and since GitHub is only a mirror for it, you are fine as long as you are using rsync or webrsync from gentoo.org.

"Also, the gentoo-mirror repositories including metadata are hosted under a separate Github mirror and likely not affected as well. All Gentoo commits are signed, and you should verify the integrity of the signatures when using git."

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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