Keybase launches encryption for git repositories

You can now encrypt repositories to keep them private and secure.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Keybase has launched a new service to encrypt git repositories for free.

Keybase, the provider of the Keybase security app for mobile phones and PCs, offers an open-source system supported by public-key cryptography to implement end-to-end encryption across your devices and communication.

The company said on Wednesday that the app has now been upgraded to include encrypted, hosted repositories suitable for a private community files, family histories, research and projects such as novel writing or academic work -- content you want secure but easily accessible.

While not suitable for open-source projects due to the private nature of the encrypted repositories, the app can also be used to encrypt a team's API keys and business documents.

From now, the Keybase app now includes a new "Git" tab. Once a name is typed in, the repository is automatically created and secured.

Keybase says that the repositories are hosted in a similar fashion to GitHub, but they are only able to be decrypted by users. If a team repository is set up, then access -- and decryption rights -- are only granted to team members added to the repository.

"To Keybase, all is but a garbled mess," the firm says. "To you, it's a regular checkout with no extra steps. Even your repository names and branch names are encrypted, and thus unreadable by Keybase staff or infiltrators."

The Git system supports remote helpers and everything is signed by your device's private key. Fetches are checked and if they do not verify correctly, they fail.

However, there is no website interface. Those who prefer a Git interface are able to implement the system with GitHub desktop. In addition, personal and team repositories have a maximum size limit of 100GB.


Keyhub currently caters for roughly 120,000 users, and while companies and enterprise players have not adopted the system en masse, co-founder Chris Coyne says that the enterprise market is a "big part of the financial strategy."

"The majority of users will not be enterprise," Coyne told CyberScoop. "I would say the most comparable story I can think of is GitHub."

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