When git cloning, automatically pins CA certs for github.com or gitlab.com to reduce MITM risk
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When git fetches a repository, it trusts all ~173 parties in /etc/ssl/certs, even when a more limited set of CAs would almost eliminate the risk of MITM. To illustrate the risk, we know that WoSign already issued an unauthorized cert for github.com. pinned-git wraps git to automatically pin the appropriate CA certificate for the domain you're cloning from. It currently pins github.com, gitlab.com, anonscm.debian.org, salsa.debian.org, git.kernel.org, and repo.or.cz (note: repo.or.cz is not signed by a trusted root, yet pinned-git makes https://repo.or.cz/ work without error). If there is no pin for the domain being cloned from, it will proceed anyway without a pin.

pinned-git protects git clone and subsequent fetches in the cloned repo, assuming that you keep intact the http.sslcainfo and http.sslcapath options in the clone's .git/config. Note that git doesn't support a per-remote http.sslcainfo, so if you have two https:// remotes on different domains, you will have to remove the pinning or create your own certificate bundle.

Because sslcainfo = is set to an absolute path, you must install pinned-git to a location that will not change.

pinned-git is more convenient than setting up "anonymous" cloning over the SSH protocol, because you do not have to install and maintain {GitHub, GitLab, ...}-specific SSH keys and configuration on many users/machines. Instead, just one pinned-git install needs to be kept up to date on each machine.


  • git 1.7.7 or newer. 1.7.7 is the first version that supports git clone --config ...