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When generating my public key for GIT access, I decided to set up a password for it. My push procedure looks like this now:

Enter passphrase for key '/c/Users/USERNAME/.ssh/id_rsa':
Counting objects: X, done.
Delta compression using up to 8 threads.
Compressing objects: 100% (X/X), done.
Writing objects: 100% (X/X), XXXX bytes | 0 bytes/s, done.
Total X (delta 3), reused 0 (delta 0)
To git@github.com:Username/reponame.git
   XXXXX..XXXXXX  branch-name -> branch-name

Does this passphrase really protect anyone for pushing to github, or can this be bypassed?

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The passphrase is used to encrypt the private key, which prevents it from being used to digitally sign commits. This protects your private key from being abused by an attacker if it becomes compromised (e.g. you accidentally commit your private key to a public repo) unless they can crack your password.

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