Hackers Steal New York Times Source Code Using Exposed GitHub Token

Internal source code and data belonging to The New York Times leaked onto 4chan following a theft from GitHub repositories in January 2024. An anonymous user posted a torrent containing a 273 GB archive.

“There are about 5,000 repositories (with less than 30 additionally encrypted, I believe), totaling 3.6 million files, uncompressed tar,” read a message on the 4chan forum.

The hacker shared a text file listing 6,223 folders stolen from the company’s GitHub repository. The folder names indicate a wide range of stolen information, including IT documentation, infrastructure tools, and source code, presumably including the game Wordle.

A readme file in the archive explains that the hacker accessed the repositories using an exposed GitHub token.

The New York Times told BleepingComputer that the breach occurred in January 2024 after obtaining credentials for the GitHub cloud storage platform.

The company stated that the compromise of its GitHub account did not impact its internal corporate systems.

The New York Times has notified freelancers that some of their confidential information was stolen, including names, phone numbers, email addresses, postal addresses, nationality, biographical details, website URLs, and social media handles. Additionally, the compromised repositories contained information related to journalistic assignments, including access to specialized equipment.

The newspaper noted that the leak did not affect full-time newsroom staff or others. Those impacted were advised to set strong passwords and enable two-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized access attempts.

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