Dependency Scanning

Dependency Scanning helps to automatically find security vulnerabilities in your dependencies while you are developing and testing your applications, for example when your application is using an external (open source) library which is known to be vulnerable.

Overview

If you are using GitLab CI/CD, you can analyze your dependencies for known vulnerabilities using Dependency Scanning. All dependencies are scanned, including the transitive dependencies (also known as nested dependencies).

You can take advantage of Dependency Scanning by either including the Dependency Scanning template in your existing .gitlab-ci.yml file or by implicitly using Auto Dependency Scanning that is provided by Auto DevOps.

GitLab checks the Dependency Scanning report, compares the found vulnerabilities between the source and target branches, and shows the information on the merge request.

Dependency Scanning Widget

The results are sorted by the severity of the vulnerability:

  1. Critical
  2. High
  3. Medium
  4. Low
  5. Unknown
  6. Everything else

Requirements

To run a Dependency Scanning job, by default, you need GitLab Runner with the docker or kubernetes executor running in privileged mode. If you’re using the shared Runners on GitLab.com, this is enabled by default.

Caution: If you use your own Runners, make sure that the Docker version you have installed is not 19.03.0. See troubleshooting information for details.

Privileged mode is not necessary if you’ve disabled Docker in Docker for Dependency Scanning

Supported languages and package managers

The following languages and dependency managers are supported.

Language (package managers) Supported Scan tool(s)
Java (Gradle) yes gemnasium
Java (Maven) yes gemnasium
JavaScript (npm, yarn) yes gemnasium, Retire.js
PHP (Composer) yes gemnasium
Python (pip) yes gemnasium
Python (Pipfile) not currently (issue) not available
Python (poetry) not currently (issue) not available
Ruby (gem) yes gemnasium, bundler-audit
Scala (sbt) yes gemnasium
Go (Go Modules) yes (alpha) gemnasium

Contribute your scanner

The Security Scanner Integration documentation explains how to integrate other security scanners into GitLab.

Configuration

For GitLab 11.9 and later, to enable Dependency Scanning, you must include the Dependency-Scanning.gitlab-ci.yml template that’s provided as a part of your GitLab installation. For GitLab versions earlier than 11.9, you can copy and use the job as defined that template.

Add the following to your .gitlab-ci.yml file:

include:
  - template: Dependency-Scanning.gitlab-ci.yml

The included template will create a dependency_scanning job in your CI/CD pipeline and scan your project’s source code for possible vulnerabilities.

The results will be saved as a Dependency Scanning report artifact that you can later download and analyze. Due to implementation limitations, we always take the latest Dependency Scanning artifact available.

Customizing the Dependency Scanning settings

The Dependency Scanning settings can be changed through environment variables by using the variables parameter in .gitlab-ci.yml.

For example:

include:
  - template: Dependency-Scanning.gitlab-ci.yml

variables:
  DS_PYTHON_VERSION: 2

Because template is evaluated before the pipeline configuration, the last mention of the variable will take precedence.

Overriding the Dependency Scanning template

Deprecation: Beginning in GitLab 13.0, the use of only and except is no longer supported. When overriding the template, you must use rules instead.

If you want to override the job definition (for example, change properties like variables or dependencies), you need to declare a dependency_scanning job after the template inclusion and specify any additional keys under it. For example:

include:
  - template: Dependency-Scanning.gitlab-ci.yml

dependency_scanning:
  variables:
    CI_DEBUG_TRACE: "true"

Available variables

Dependency Scanning can be configured using environment variables.

Configuring Dependency Scanning

The following variables allow configuration of global dependency scanning settings.

Environment variable Description
DS_ANALYZER_IMAGE_PREFIX Override the name of the Docker registry providing the official default images (proxy). Read more about customizing analyzers.
DS_DEFAULT_ANALYZERS Override the names of the official default images. Read more about customizing analyzers.
DS_DISABLE_DIND Disable Docker-in-Docker and run analyzers individually.
ADDITIONAL_CA_CERT_BUNDLE Bundle of CA certs to trust.
DS_EXCLUDED_PATHS Exclude vulnerabilities from output based on the paths. A comma-separated list of patterns. Patterns can be globs, or file or folder paths (for example, doc,spec). Parent directories also match patterns.

Configuring Docker-in-Docker orchestrator

The following variables configure the Docker-in-Docker orchestrator.

Environment variable Default Description
DS_ANALYZER_IMAGES   Comma separated list of custom images. The official default images are still enabled. Read more about customizing analyzers.
DS_ANALYZER_IMAGE_TAG   Override the Docker tag of the official default images. Read more about customizing analyzers.
DS_PULL_ANALYZER_IMAGES   Pull the images from the Docker registry (set to 0 to disable).
DS_DOCKER_CLIENT_NEGOTIATION_TIMEOUT 2m Time limit for Docker client negotiation. Timeouts are parsed using Go’s ParseDuration. Valid time units are ns, us (or µs), ms, s, m, or h. For example, 300ms, 1.5h, or 2h45m.
DS_PULL_ANALYZER_IMAGE_TIMEOUT 5m Time limit when pulling an analyzer’s image. Timeouts are parsed using Go’s ParseDuration. Valid time units are ns, us (or µs), ms, s, m, or h. For example, 300ms, 1.5h, or 2h45m.
DS_RUN_ANALYZER_TIMEOUT 20m Time limit when running an analyzer. Timeouts are parsed using Go’s ParseDuration. Valid time units are ns, us (or µs), ms, s, m, or h. For example, 300ms, 1.5h, or 2h45m.

Configuring specific analyzers used by Dependency Scanning

The following variables are used for configuring specific analyzers (used for a specific language/framework).

Environment variable Analyzer Default Description
GEMNASIUM_DB_LOCAL_PATH gemnasium /gemnasium-db Path to local gemnasium database.
GEMNASIUM_DB_REMOTE_URL gemnasium https://gitlab.com/gitlab-org/security-products/gemnasium-db.git Repository URL for fetching the gemnasium database.
GEMNASIUM_DB_REF_NAME gemnasium master Branch name for remote repository database. GEMNASIUM_DB_REMOTE_URL is required.
DS_REMEDIATE gemnasium "true" Enable automatic remediation of vulnerable dependencies.
PIP_INDEX_URL gemnasium-python https://pypi.org/simple Base URL of Python Package Index.
PIP_EXTRA_INDEX_URL gemnasium-python   Array of extra URLs of package indexes to use in addition to PIP_INDEX_URL. Comma separated.
PIP_REQUIREMENTS_FILE gemnasium-python   Pip requirements file to be scanned.
DS_PIP_VERSION gemnasium-python   Force the install of a specific pip version (example: "19.3"), otherwise the pip installed in the Docker image is used. (Introduced in GitLab 12.7)
DS_PIP_DEPENDENCY_PATH gemnasium-python   Path to load Python pip dependencies from. (Introduced in GitLab 12.2)
DS_PYTHON_VERSION retire.js   Version of Python. If set to 2, dependencies are installed using Python 2.7 instead of Python 3.6. (Introduced in GitLab 12.1)
MAVEN_CLI_OPTS gemnasium-maven "-DskipTests --batch-mode" List of command line arguments that will be passed to maven by the analyzer. See an example for using private repos.
GRADLE_CLI_OPTS gemnasium-maven   List of command line arguments that will be passed to gradle by the analyzer.
SBT_CLI_OPTS gemnasium-maven   List of command-line arguments that the analyzer will pass to sbt.
BUNDLER_AUDIT_UPDATE_DISABLED bundler-audit "false" Disable automatic updates for the bundler-audit analyzer. Useful if you’re running Dependency Scanning in an offline, air-gapped environment.
BUNDLER_AUDIT_ADVISORY_DB_URL bundler-audit https://github.com/rubysec/ruby-advisory-db URL of the advisory database used by bundler-audit.
BUNDLER_AUDIT_ADVISORY_DB_REF_NAME bundler-audit master Git ref for the advisory database specified by BUNDLER_AUDIT_ADVISORY_DB_URL.
RETIREJS_JS_ADVISORY_DB retire.js https://raw.githubusercontent.com/RetireJS/retire.js/master/repository/jsrepository.json Path or URL to retire.js JS vulnerability data file. Note that if the URL hosting the data file uses a custom SSL certificate, for example in an offline installation, you can pass the certificate in the ADDITIONAL_CA_CERT_BUNDLE environment variable.
RETIREJS_NODE_ADVISORY_DB retire.js https://raw.githubusercontent.com/RetireJS/retire.js/master/repository/npmrepository.json Path or URL to retire.js node vulnerability data file. Note that if the URL hosting the data file uses a custom SSL certificate, for example in an offline installation, you can pass the certificate in the ADDITIONAL_CA_CERT_BUNDLE environment variable.
RETIREJS_ADVISORY_DB_INSECURE retire.js false Enable fetching remote JS and Node vulnerability data files (defined by the RETIREJS_JS_ADVISORY_DB and RETIREJS_NODE_ADVISORY_DB variables) from hosts using an insecure or self-signed SSL (TLS) certificate.

Using private Maven repos

If you have a private Maven repository which requires login credentials, you can use the MAVEN_CLI_OPTS environment variable.

Read more on how to use private Maven repos.

Disabling Docker in Docker for Dependency Scanning

Introduced in GitLab Ultimate 12.5.

You can avoid the need for Docker in Docker by running the individual analyzers. This does not require running the executor in privileged mode. For example:

include:
  - template: Dependency-Scanning.gitlab-ci.yml

variables:
  DS_DISABLE_DIND: "true"

This will create individual <analyzer-name>-dependency_scanning jobs for each analyzer that runs in your CI/CD pipeline.

By removing Docker-in-Docker (DIND), GitLab relies on Linguist to start relevant analyzers depending on the detected repository language(s) instead of the orchestrator. However, there are some differences in the way repository languages are detected between DIND and non-DIND. You can observe these differences by checking both Linguist and the common library. For instance, Linguist looks for *.java files to spin up the gemnasium-maven image, while orchestrator only looks for the existence of pom.xml or build.gradle. GitLab uses Linguist to detect new file types in the default branch. This means that when introducing files or dependencies for a new language or package manager, the corresponding scans won’t be triggered in the MR and will only run on the default branch once the MR is merged. This will be addressed by #211702.

Interacting with the vulnerabilities

Once a vulnerability is found, you can interact with it. Read more on how to interact with the vulnerabilities.

Solutions for vulnerabilities (auto-remediation)

Some vulnerabilities can be fixed by applying the solution that GitLab automatically generates.

Read more about the solutions for vulnerabilities.

Security Dashboard

The Security Dashboard is a good place to get an overview of all the security vulnerabilities in your groups, projects and pipelines. Read more about the Security Dashboard.

Vulnerabilities database update

For more information about the vulnerabilities database update, check the maintenance table.

Dependency List

An additional benefit of Dependency Scanning is the ability to view your project’s dependencies and their known vulnerabilities. Read more about the Dependency List.

Reports JSON format

Caution: The JSON report artifacts are not a public API of Dependency Scanning and their format may change in the future.

The Dependency Scanning tool emits a JSON report file. Here is an example of the report structure with all important parts of it highlighted:

{
  "version": "2.0",
  "vulnerabilities": [
    {
      "id": "51e83874-0ff6-4677-a4c5-249060554eae",
      "category": "dependency_scanning",
      "name": "Regular Expression Denial of Service",
      "message": "Regular Expression Denial of Service in debug",
      "description": "The debug module is vulnerable to regular expression denial of service when untrusted user input is passed into the `o` formatter. It takes around 50k characters to block for 2 seconds making this a low severity issue.",
      "severity": "Unknown",
      "solution": "Upgrade to latest versions.",
      "scanner": {
        "id": "gemnasium",
        "name": "Gemnasium"
      },
      "location": {
        "file": "yarn.lock",
        "dependency": {
          "package": {
            "name": "debug"
          },
          "version": "1.0.5"
        }
      },
      "identifiers": [
        {
          "type": "gemnasium",
          "name": "Gemnasium-37283ed4-0380-40d7-ada7-2d994afcc62a",
          "value": "37283ed4-0380-40d7-ada7-2d994afcc62a",
          "url": "https://deps.sec.gitlab.com/packages/npm/debug/versions/1.0.5/advisories"
        }
      ],
      "links": [
        {
          "url": "https://nodesecurity.io/advisories/534"
        },
        {
          "url": "https://github.com/visionmedia/debug/issues/501"
        },
        {
          "url": "https://github.com/visionmedia/debug/pull/504"
        }
      ]
    },
    {
      "id": "5d681b13-e8fa-4668-957e-8d88f932ddc7",
      "category": "dependency_scanning",
      "name": "Authentication bypass via incorrect DOM traversal and canonicalization",
      "message": "Authentication bypass via incorrect DOM traversal and canonicalization in saml2-js",
      "description": "Some XML DOM traversal and canonicalization APIs may be inconsistent in handling of comments within XML nodes. Incorrect use of these APIs by some SAML libraries results in incorrect parsing of the inner text of XML nodes such that any inner text after the comment is lost prior to cryptographically signing the SAML message. Text after the comment therefore has no impact on the signature on the SAML message.\r\n\r\nA remote attacker can modify SAML content for a SAML service provider without invalidating the cryptographic signature, which may allow attackers to bypass primary authentication for the affected SAML service provider.",
      "severity": "Unknown",
      "solution": "Upgrade to fixed version.\r\n",
      "scanner": {
        "id": "gemnasium",
        "name": "Gemnasium"
      },
      "location": {
        "file": "yarn.lock",
        "dependency": {
          "package": {
            "name": "saml2-js"
          },
          "version": "1.5.0"
        }
      },
      "identifiers": [
        {
          "type": "gemnasium",
          "name": "Gemnasium-9952e574-7b5b-46fa-a270-aeb694198a98",
          "value": "9952e574-7b5b-46fa-a270-aeb694198a98",
          "url": "https://deps.sec.gitlab.com/packages/npm/saml2-js/versions/1.5.0/advisories"
        },
        {
          "type": "cve",
          "name": "CVE-2017-11429",
          "value": "CVE-2017-11429",
          "url": "https://cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2017-11429"
        }
      ],
      "links": [
        {
          "url": "https://github.com/Clever/saml2/commit/3546cb61fd541f219abda364c5b919633609ef3d#diff-af730f9f738de1c9ad87596df3f6de84R279"
        },
        {
          "url": "https://github.com/Clever/saml2/issues/127"
        },
        {
          "url": "https://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/475445"
        }
      ]
    }
  ],
  "remediations": [
    {
      "fixes": [
        {
          "id": "5d681b13-e8fa-4668-957e-8d88f932ddc7",
        }
      ],
      "summary": "Upgrade saml2-js",
      "diff": "ZGlmZiAtLWdpdCBhL...OR0d1ZUc2THh3UT09Cg==" // some content is omitted for brevity
    }
  ]
}
Deprecation: Beginning with GitLab 12.9, dependency scanning no longer reports undefined severity and confidence levels.

Here is the description of the report file structure nodes and their meaning. All fields are mandatory to be present in the report JSON unless stated otherwise. Presence of optional fields depends on the underlying analyzers being used.

Report JSON node Description
version Report syntax version used to generate this JSON.
vulnerabilities Array of vulnerability objects.
vulnerabilities[].id Unique identifier of the vulnerability.
vulnerabilities[].category Where this vulnerability belongs (SAST, Dependency Scanning etc.). For Dependency Scanning, it will always be dependency_scanning.
vulnerabilities[].name Name of the vulnerability, this must not include the occurrence’s specific information. Optional.
vulnerabilities[].message A short text that describes the vulnerability, it may include occurrence’s specific information. Optional.
vulnerabilities[].description A long text that describes the vulnerability. Optional.
vulnerabilities[].cve (DEPRECATED - use vulnerabilities[].id instead) A fingerprint string value that represents a concrete occurrence of the vulnerability. It’s used to determine whether two vulnerability occurrences are same or different. May not be 100% accurate. This is NOT a CVE.
vulnerabilities[].severity How much the vulnerability impacts the software. Possible values: Undefined (an analyzer has not provided this information), Info, Unknown, Low, Medium, High, Critical.
vulnerabilities[].confidence How reliable the vulnerability’s assessment is. Possible values: Undefined (an analyzer has not provided this information), Ignore, Unknown, Experimental, Low, Medium, High, Confirmed.
vulnerabilities[].solution Explanation of how to fix the vulnerability. Optional.
vulnerabilities[].scanner A node that describes the analyzer used to find this vulnerability.
vulnerabilities[].scanner.id Id of the scanner as a snake_case string.
vulnerabilities[].scanner.name Name of the scanner, for display purposes.
vulnerabilities[].location A node that tells where the vulnerability is located.
vulnerabilities[].location.file Path to the dependencies file (e.g., yarn.lock). Optional.
vulnerabilities[].location.dependency A node that describes the dependency of a project where the vulnerability is located.
vulnerabilities[].location.dependency.package A node that provides the information on the package where the vulnerability is located.
vulnerabilities[].location.dependency.package.name Name of the package where the vulnerability is located. Optional.
vulnerabilities[].location.dependency.version Version of the vulnerable package. Optional.
vulnerabilities[].identifiers An ordered array of references that identify a vulnerability on internal or external DBs.
vulnerabilities[].identifiers[].type Type of the identifier. Possible values: common identifier types (among cve, cwe, osvdb, and usn) or analyzer-dependent ones (e.g. gemnasium for Gemnasium).
vulnerabilities[].identifiers[].name Name of the identifier for display purpose.
vulnerabilities[].identifiers[].value Value of the identifier for matching purpose.
vulnerabilities[].identifiers[].url URL to identifier’s documentation. Optional.
vulnerabilities[].links An array of references to external documentation pieces or articles that describe the vulnerability further. Optional.
vulnerabilities[].links[].name Name of the vulnerability details link. Optional.
vulnerabilities[].links[].url URL of the vulnerability details document. Optional.
remediations An array of objects containing information on cured vulnerabilities along with patch diffs to apply. Empty if no remediations provided by an underlying analyzer.
remediations[].fixes An array of strings that represent references to vulnerabilities fixed by this particular remediation.
remediations[].fixes[].id The id of a fixed vulnerability.
remediations[].fixes[].cve (DEPRECATED - use remediations[].fixes[].id instead) A string value that describes a fixed vulnerability in the same format as vulnerabilities[].cve.
remediations[].summary Overview of how the vulnerabilities have been fixed.
remediations[].diff base64-encoded remediation code diff, compatible with git apply.

Versioning and release process

Please check the Release Process documentation.

Contributing to the vulnerability database

You can search the gemnasium-db project to find a vulnerability in the Gemnasium database. You can also submit new vulnerabilities.

Running Dependency Scanning in an offline environment

For self-managed GitLab instances in an environment with limited, restricted, or intermittent access to external resources through the internet, some adjustments are required for dependency scannings jobs to run successfully. For more information, see Offline environments.

Requirements for offline Dependency Scanning

Here are the requirements for using Dependency Scanning in an offline environment:

Note: GitLab Runner has a default pull policy of always, meaning the runner will try to pull Docker images from the GitLab container registry even if a local copy is available. GitLab Runner’s pull_policy can be set to if-not-present in an offline environment if you prefer using only locally available Docker images. However, we recommend keeping the pull policy setting to always as it will better enable updated scanners to be utilized within your CI/CD pipelines.

Make GitLab Dependency Scanning analyzer images available inside your Docker registry

For Dependency Scanning, import docker images (supported languages and frameworks) from registry.gitlab.com to your offline docker registry. The Dependency Scanning analyzer docker images are:

registry.gitlab.com/gitlab-org/security-products/analyzers/gemnasium:2
registry.gitlab.com/gitlab-org/security-products/analyzers/gemnasium-maven:2
registry.gitlab.com/gitlab-org/security-products/analyzers/gemnasium-python:2
registry.gitlab.com/gitlab-org/security-products/analyzers/retire.js:2
registry.gitlab.com/gitlab-org/security-products/analyzers/bundler-audit:2

The process for importing Docker images into a local offline Docker registry depends on your network security policy. Please consult your IT staff to find an accepted and approved process by which external resources can be imported or temporarily accessed. Note that these scanners are updated periodically with new definitions, so consider if you are able to make periodic updates yourself.

For details on saving and transporting Docker images as a file, see Docker’s documentation on docker save, docker load, docker export, and docker import.

Set Dependency Scanning CI config for “offline” use

Below is a general .gitlab-ci.yml template to configure your environment for running Dependency Scanning offline:

include:
  - template: Dependency-Scanning.gitlab-ci.yml

variables:
  DS_DISABLE_DIND: "true"
  DS_ANALYZER_IMAGE_PREFIX: "docker-registry.example.com/analyzers"

See explanations of the variables above in the configuration section.

Specific settings for languages and package managers

For every language and package manager, add the following to the variables section of .gitlab-ci.yml:

GEMNASIUM_DB_REMOTE_URL: "gitlab.example.com/gemnasium-db.git"

See the following sections for additional instructions on specific languages and package managers.

JavaScript (npm and yarn) projects

Add the following to the variables section of .gitlab-ci.yml:

RETIREJS_JS_ADVISORY_DB: "example.com/jsrepository.json"
RETIREJS_NODE_ADVISORY_DB: "example.com/npmrepository.json"

Ruby (gem) projects

Add the following to the variables section of .gitlab-ci.yml:

BUNDLER_AUDIT_ADVISORY_DB_REF_NAME: "master"
BUNDLER_AUDIT_ADVISORY_DB_URL: "gitlab.example.com/ruby-advisory-db.git"

Java (Maven) projects

When using a self-signed certificates, add the following to the variables section of.gitlab-ci.yml:

MAVEN_CLI_OPTS="-Dmaven.wagon.http.ssl.insecure=true -Dmaven.wagon.http.ssl.allowall=true -Dmaven.wagon.http.ssl.ignore.validity.dates=true"`

Java (Gradle) projects

When using self-signed certificates, add the following job section to the .gitlab-ci.yml:

gemnasium-maven-dependency_scanning:
  variables:
    before_script:
      - echo -n | openssl s_client -connect maven-repo.example.com:443 | sed -ne '/-BEGIN CERTIFICATE-/,/-END CERTIFICATE-/p' > /tmp/internal.crt
      - keytool -importcert -file /tmp/internal.crt -cacerts -storepass changeit -noprompt

This adds the self-signed certificates of your maven repository to the Java Key Store of the analyzer’s docker image.

Scala (sbt) projects

When using self-signed certificates, add the following job section to the .gitlab-ci.yml:

gemnasium-maven-dependency_scanning:
  variables:
    before_script:
      - echo -n | openssl s_client -connect gitlab-airgap-test.us-west1-b.c.group-secure-a89fe7.internal:443 | sed -ne '/-BEGIN CERTIFICATE-/,/-END CERTIFICATE-/p' > /tmp/internal.crt
      - keytool -importcert -file /tmp/internal.crt -cacerts -storepass changeit -noprompt

This adds the self-signed certificates of your maven repository to the Java Key Store of the analyzer’s docker image.

Python (pip) and Python (Pipfile) projects

Add the following pip.conf to your repository to define your index URL and trust its self-signed certificate:

[global]
index-url = https://pypi.example.com
trusted-host = pypi.example.com

Add the following job section to .gitlab-ci.yml:

gemnasium-python-dependency_scanning:
  before_script:
    - mkdir ~/.config/pip
    - cp pip.conf ~/.config/pip/pip.conf

Python (setuptools)

When using self-signed certificates for your private PyPi repo no extra job configuration (aside from the template .gitlab-ci.yml above) is needed. However, you must update your setup.py to ensure that it can reach your private repo. Here is an example configuration:

  1. Update setup.py to create a dependency_links attribute pointing at your private repo for each dependency in the install_requires list:

     install_requires=['pyparsing>=2.0.3'],
     dependency_links=['https://pypi.example.com/simple/pyparsing'],
    
  2. Fetch the certificate from your repository URL and add it to the project:

     echo -n | openssl s_client -connect pypi.example.com:443 | sed -ne '/-BEGIN CERTIFICATE-/,/-END CERTIFICATE-/p' > internal.crt
    
  3. Point setup.py at the newly downloaded certificate:

     import setuptools.ssl_support
     setuptools.ssl_support.cert_paths = ['internal.crt']
    

Troubleshooting

Error response from daemon: error processing tar file: docker-tar: relocation error

This error occurs when the Docker version used to run the SAST job is 19.03.0. You are advised to update to Docker 19.03.1 or greater. Older versions are not affected. Read more in this issue.