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Here you can find a list of some Git, GitHub and GitGuardian specific terms and concepts that we use across our documentation.

Author vs Committer

From Git definitions:

  • The author is the person who originally wrote the work
  • The committer is the person who most recently applied a set of changes, for example by using commands such as rebase or cherry-pick


A commit is a Git object. It "is an individual change to a file (or set of files)". See the GitHub glossary for a more precise definition.
Commits typically include a commit message, which provides a brief description of the changes made, the date of the commit, and the author and committer of the commit, who can be two distinct users.

Commit author

The Git user who makes the commit.

Commit SHA

Unique identifier of a commit created by Git. It is a 40-character checksum hash. For the sake of convenience, only the first 7 characters are usually displayed.

Custom webhooks

Custom webhooks allow you to build dedicated integration to receive different type of events (like incidents) from GitGuardian. It provides a way to integrate your different services with the GitGuardian alerting pipeline.

GitHub contributor

A contributor is a GitHub user who does not have collaborator access to a repository but has contributed to a project and had a pull request they opened merged into the repository.

GitHub events

Every interaction between a user and GitHub is logged in a GitHub Event. The complete list of event types is available here It contains useful information, such as:

  • the actor, the GitHub user who triggered the event (in the case of a PushEvent, i.e when pushing several commits on GitHub, the actor is also referred to as the pusher)
  • the organization id, if the event occurred on a GitHub organization
  • the payload which depend on the event's type
  • the repo on which the event happened
  • the type

GitHub organization

GitHub organizations are a group of multiple users that typically mirror the structure of your real-world organization. GitGuardian can monitor as many GitHub organizations and scan their associated activity.

Git users vs GitHub Users

A commit as defined in the Git protocol, contains both an author and committer, defined by their email address and name. For example "Author Name <>" is a valid git user (either a committer or an author). This email is configured at the git protocol level, on your developers’ computers, using the commands:

git config --global "FIRST_NAME LAST_NAME"
git config --global ""

On top of that, GitHub sometimes adds a GitHub author and / or committer, if it managed to link the git user to an existing GitHub user, based on the email addresses. In that case, the commit also contains a GitHub login as the author and / or the committer.

Patch and diff

A patch/diff is a git concept that represents the difference in changes between two commits, or saved changes. The diff will visually describe what was added or removed from a file since its last commit.


A policy is a rule enforced on your perimeter. Policy breaks incidents are triggered when an event breaks a given policy.

Push Event

A Push Event is triggered whenever several commits are pushed on GitHub, from a local repository, and therefore its payload contains a list of commits. That is the main type of event we monitor, since it is the one containing commits, reflecting changes in code.


Following GitHub's definition, a repository is the most basic element of GitHub. They are the easiest to imagine as a project's folder. A repository contains all of the project files (including documentation), and stores each file's revision history. Repositories can have multiple collaborators and can be either public or private.


A secret is any of the following: API keys, database connection strings, certificates.

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