DAST proxy-based analyzer

The DAST proxy-based analyzer can be added to your GitLab CI/CD pipeline. This helps you discover vulnerabilities in web applications that do not use JavaScript heavily. For applications that do, please see the DAST browser-based analyzer.

caution
Do not run DAST scans against a production server. Not only can it perform any function that a user can, such as clicking buttons or submitting forms, but it may also trigger bugs, leading to modification or loss of production data. Only run DAST scans against a test server.

The analyzer uses the OWASP Zed Attack Proxy (ZAP) to scan in two different ways:

  • Passive scan only (default). DAST executes ZAP’s Baseline Scan and doesn’t actively attack your application.
  • Passive and active (or full) scan. DAST can be configured to also perform an active scan to attack your application and produce a more extensive security report. It can be very useful when combined with Review Apps.

DAST run options

You can use DAST to examine your web application:

  • Automatically, initiated by a merge request.
  • Manually, initiated on demand.

Some of the differences between these run options:

Automatic scanOn-demand scan
DAST scan is initiated by a merge request.DAST scan is initiated manually, outside the DevOps life cycle.
CI/CD variables are sourced from .gitlab-ci.yml.CI/CD variables are provided in the UI.
All DAST CI/CD variables available.Subset of DAST CI/CD variables available.
DAST.gitlab-ci.yml template. DAST-On-Demand-Scan.gitlab-ci.yml template.

Enable automatic DAST run

To enable DAST to run automatically, either:

Include the DAST template

  • This template was updated to DAST_VERSION: 2 in GitLab 14.0.
  • This template was updated to DAST_VERSION: 3 in GitLab 15.0.

If you want to manually add DAST to your application, the DAST job is defined in a CI/CD template file. Updates to the template are provided with GitLab upgrades, allowing you to benefit from any improvements and additions.

To include the DAST template:

  1. Select the CI/CD template you want to use:

    caution
    The latest version of the template may include breaking changes. Use the stable template unless you need a feature provided only in the latest template.

    For more information about template versioning, see the CI/CD documentation.

  2. Add a dast stage to your GitLab CI stages configuration:

     stages:
       - dast
    
  3. Add the template to GitLab, based on your version of GitLab:

    • In GitLab 11.9 and later, include the template by adding the following to your .gitlab-ci.yml file:

      include:
        - template: <template_file.yml>
      
      variables:
        DAST_WEBSITE: https://example.com
      
    • In GitLab 11.8 and earlier, add the contents of the template to your .gitlab_ci.yml file.

  4. Define the URL to be scanned by DAST by using one of these methods:

    • Set the DAST_WEBSITE CI/CD variable. If set, this value takes precedence.

    • Add the URL in an environment_url.txt file at the root of your project. This is useful for testing in dynamic environments. To run DAST against an application dynamically created during a GitLab CI/CD pipeline, a job that runs prior to the DAST scan must persist the application’s domain in an environment_url.txt file. DAST automatically parses the environment_url.txt file to find its scan target.

      For example, in a job that runs prior to DAST, you could include code that looks similar to:

      script:
        - echo http://${CI_PROJECT_ID}-${CI_ENVIRONMENT_SLUG}.domain.com > environment_url.txt
      artifacts:
        paths: [environment_url.txt]
        when: always
      

      You can see an example of this in our Auto DevOps CI YAML file.

The included template creates a dast job in your CI/CD pipeline and scans your project’s running application for possible vulnerabilities.

The results are saved as a DAST report artifact that you can later download and analyze. Due to implementation limitations, we always take the latest DAST artifact available. Behind the scenes, the GitLab DAST Docker image is used to run the tests on the specified URL and scan it for possible vulnerabilities.

By default, the DAST template uses the latest major version of the DAST Docker image. Using the DAST_VERSION variable, you can choose how DAST updates:

  • Automatically update DAST with new features and fixes by pinning to a major version (such as 1).
  • Only update fixes by pinning to a minor version (such as 1.6).
  • Prevent all updates by pinning to a specific version (such as 1.6.4).

Find the latest DAST versions on the Releases page.

Configure DAST using the UI

You can enable or configure DAST settings using the UI. The generated settings are formatted so they can be conveniently pasted into the .gitlab-ci.yml file.

  1. On the top bar, select Main menu > Projects and find your project.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Security & Compliance > Configuration.
  3. In the Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) section, select Enable DAST or Configure DAST.
  4. Select the desired Scanner profile, or select Create scanner profile and save a scanner profile. For more details, see scanner profiles.
  5. Select the desired Site profile, or select Create site profile and save a site profile. For more details, see site profiles.
  6. Select Generate code snippet. A modal opens with the YAML snippet corresponding to the options you selected.
  7. Do one of the following:
    1. To copy the snippet to your clipboard, select Copy code only.
    2. To add the snippet to your project’s .gitlab-ci.yml file, select Copy code and open .gitlab-ci.yml file. The Pipeline Editor opens.
      1. Paste the snippet into the .gitlab-ci.yml file.
      2. Select the Lint tab to confirm the edited .gitlab-ci.yml file is valid.
      3. Select the Edit tab, then select Commit changes.

When the snippet is committed to the .gitlab-ci.yml file, pipelines include a DAST job.

API scan

  • The DAST API analyzer is used for scanning web APIs. Web API technologies such as GraphQL, REST, and SOAP are supported.

URL scan

Version history

A URL scan allows you to specify which parts of a website are scanned by DAST.

Define the URLs to scan

URLs to scan can be specified by either of the following methods:

  • Use DAST_PATHS_FILE CI/CD variable to specify the name of a file containing the paths.
  • Use DAST_PATHS variable to list the paths.
Use DAST_PATHS_FILE CI/CD variable

Introduced in GitLab 13.6.

To define the URLs to scan in a file, create a plain text file with one path per line.

page1.html
/page2.html
category/shoes/page1.html

To scan the URLs in that file, set the CI/CD variable DAST_PATHS_FILE to the path of that file. The file can be checked into the project repository or generated as an artifact by a job that runs before DAST.

By default, DAST scans do not clone the project repository. Instruct the DAST job to clone the project by setting GIT_STRATEGY to fetch. Give a file path relative to CI_PROJECT_DIR to DAST_PATHS_FILE.

include:
  - template: DAST.gitlab-ci.yml

variables:
  GIT_STRATEGY: fetch
  DAST_PATHS_FILE: url_file.txt  # url_file.txt lives in the root directory of the project
  DAST_BROWSER_SCAN: "true" # use the browser-based GitLab DAST crawler
Use DAST_PATHS CI/CD variable

Introduced in GitLab 13.4.

To specify the paths to scan in a CI/CD variable, add a comma-separated list of the paths to the DAST_PATHS variable. Note that you can only scan paths of a single host.

include:
  - template: DAST.gitlab-ci.yml

variables:
  DAST_PATHS: "/page1.html,/category1/page1.html,/page3.html"
  DAST_BROWSER_SCAN: "true" # use the browser-based GitLab DAST crawler

When using DAST_PATHS and DAST_PATHS_FILE, note the following:

  • DAST_WEBSITE must be defined when using either DAST_PATHS_FILE or DAST_PATHS. The paths listed in either use DAST_WEBSITE to build the URLs to scan
  • Spidering is disabled when DAST_PATHS or DAST_PATHS_FILE are defined
  • DAST_PATHS_FILE and DAST_PATHS cannot be used together
  • The DAST_PATHS variable has a limit of about 130kb. If you have a list or paths greater than this, use DAST_PATHS_FILE.

Full Scan

To perform a full scan on the listed paths, use the DAST_FULL_SCAN_ENABLED CI/CD variable.

Authentication

The proxy-based analyzer uses the browser-based analyzer to authenticate a user prior to a scan. See Authentication for configuration instructions.

Customize DAST settings

You can customize the behavior of DAST using both CI/CD variables and command-line options. Use of CI/CD variables overrides the values contained in the DAST template.

Customize DAST using CI/CD variables

caution
Beginning in GitLab 13.0, the use of only and except is no longer supported. You must use rules instead.

The DAST settings can be changed through CI/CD variables by using the variables parameter in .gitlab-ci.yml. For details of all DAST CI/CD variables, read Available CI/CD variables.

For example:

include:
  - template: DAST.gitlab-ci.yml

variables:
  DAST_WEBSITE: https://example.com
  DAST_SPIDER_MINS: 120
  DAST_BROWSER_SCAN: "true" # use the browser-based GitLab DAST crawler

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

Enable or disable rules

A complete list of the rules that DAST uses to scan for vulnerabilities can be found in the ZAP documentation.

DAST_EXCLUDE_RULES disables the rules with the given IDs.

DAST_ONLY_INCLUDE_RULES restricts the set of rules used in the scan to those with the given IDs.

DAST_EXCLUDE_RULES and DAST_ONLY_INCLUDE_RULES are mutually exclusive and a DAST scan with both configured exits with an error.

By default, several rules are disabled because they either take a long time to run or frequently generate false positives. The complete list of disabled rules can be found in exclude_rules.yml.

The lists for DAST_EXCLUDE_RULES and DAST_ONLY_INCLUDE_RULES must be enclosed in double quotes ("), otherwise they are interpreted as numeric values.

Hide sensitive information

Introduced in GitLab 13.1.

HTTP request and response headers may contain sensitive information, including cookies and authorization credentials. By default, the following headers are masked:

  • Authorization.
  • Proxy-Authorization.
  • Set-Cookie (values only).
  • Cookie (values only).

Using the DAST_MASK_HTTP_HEADERS CI/CD variable, you can list the headers whose values you want masked. For details on how to mask headers, see Customizing the DAST settings.

Use Mutual TLS

Introduced in GitLab 14.8.

Mutual TLS allows a target application server to verify that requests are from a known source. Browser-based scans do not support Mutual TLS.

Requirements

  • Base64-encoded PKCS12 certificate
  • Password of the base64-encoded PKCS12 certificate

To enable Mutual TLS:

  1. If the PKCS12 certificate is not already base64-encoded, convert it to base64 encoding. For security reasons, we recommend encoding the certificate locally, not using a web-hosted conversion service. For example, to encode the certificate on either macOS or Linux:

    base64 <path-to-pkcs12-certificate-file>
    
  2. Create a masked variable named DAST_PKCS12_CERTIFICATE_BASE64 and store the base64-encoded PKCS12 certificate’s value in that variable.
  3. Create a masked variable DAST_PKCS12_PASSWORD and store the PKCS12 certificate’s password in that variable.

Available CI/CD variables

These CI/CD variables are specific to DAST. They can be used to customize the behavior of DAST to your requirements. For authentication CI/CD variables, see Authentication.

caution
All customization of GitLab security scanning tools should be tested in a merge request before merging these changes to the default branch. Failure to do so can give unexpected results, including a large number of false positives.
CI/CD variableTypeDescription
DAST_ADVERTISE_SCANbooleanSet to true to add a Via header to every request sent, advertising that the request was sent as part of a GitLab DAST scan. Introduced in GitLab 14.1.
DAST_AGGREGATE_VULNERABILITIESbooleanVulnerability aggregation is set to true by default. To disable this feature and see each vulnerability individually set to false. Introduced in GitLab 14.0.
DAST_API_HOST_OVERRIDE 1 stringcaution Deprecated in GitLab 15.7. Replaced by DAST API scan. Used to override domains defined in API specification files. Only supported when importing the API specification from a URL. Example: example.com:8080.
DAST_API_SPECIFICATION 1 URL or stringcaution Deprecated in GitLab 15.7. Replaced by DAST API scan. The API specification to import. The specification can be hosted at a URL, or the name of a file present in the /zap/wrk directory. The variable DAST_WEBSITE must be specified if this is omitted.
DAST_AUTH_EXCLUDE_URLSURLscaution Removed in GitLab 14.0. Replaced by DAST_EXCLUDE_URLS. The URLs to skip during the authenticated scan; comma-separated. Regular expression syntax can be used to match multiple URLs. For example, .* matches an arbitrary character sequence.
DAST_AUTO_UPDATE_ADDONSbooleanZAP add-ons are pinned to specific versions in the DAST Docker image. Set to true to download the latest versions when the scan starts. Default: false.
DAST_DEBUG 1 booleanEnable debug message output. Default: false. Introduced in GitLab 13.1.
DAST_EXCLUDE_RULESstringSet to a comma-separated list of Vulnerability Rule IDs to exclude them from running during the scan. Rule IDs are numbers and can be found from the DAST log or on the ZAP project. For example, HTTP Parameter Override has a rule ID of 10026. Cannot be used when DAST_ONLY_INCLUDE_RULES is set. Note: In earlier versions of GitLab the excluded rules were executed but vulnerabilities they generated were suppressed. Introduced in GitLab 12.10.
DAST_EXCLUDE_URLS 1 URLsThe URLs to skip during the authenticated scan; comma-separated. Regular expression syntax can be used to match multiple URLs. For example, .* matches an arbitrary character sequence. Example, http://example.com/sign-out.
DAST_FULL_SCAN_DOMAIN_VALIDATION_REQUIREDbooleancaution Removed in GitLab 14.0. Set to true to require domain validation when running DAST full scans. Default: false
DAST_FULL_SCAN_ENABLED 1 booleanSet to true to run a ZAP Full Scan instead of a ZAP Baseline Scan. Default: false
DAST_HTML_REPORTstringThe filename of the HTML report written at the end of a scan. Introduced in GitLab 13.1.
DAST_INCLUDE_ALPHA_VULNERABILITIESbooleanSet to true to include alpha passive and active scan rules. Default: false. Introduced in GitLab 13.1.
DAST_MARKDOWN_REPORTstringThe filename of the Markdown report written at the end of a scan. Introduced in GitLab 13.1.
DAST_MASK_HTTP_HEADERSstringComma-separated list of request and response headers to be masked (GitLab 13.1). Must contain all headers to be masked. Refer to list of headers that are masked by default.
DAST_MAX_URLS_PER_VULNERABILITYnumberThe maximum number of URLs reported for a single vulnerability. DAST_MAX_URLS_PER_VULNERABILITY is set to 50 by default. To list all the URLs set to 0. Introduced in GitLab 13.12.
DAST_ONLY_INCLUDE_RULESstringSet to a comma-separated list of Vulnerability Rule IDs to configure the scan to run only them. Rule IDs are numbers and can be found from the DAST log or on the ZAP project. Cannot be used when DAST_EXCLUDE_RULES is set. Introduced in GitLab 13.12.
DAST_PATHSstringSet to a comma-separated list of URLs for DAST to scan. For example, /page1.html,/category1/page3.html,/page2.html. Introduced in GitLab 13.4.
DAST_PATHS_FILEstringThe file path containing the paths within DAST_WEBSITE to scan. The file must be plain text with one path per line. Introduced in GitLab 13.6.
DAST_PKCS12_CERTIFICATE_BASE64stringThe PKCS12 certificate used for sites that require Mutual TLS. Must be encoded as base64 text.
DAST_PKCS12_PASSWORDstringThe password of the certificate used in DAST_PKCS12_CERTIFICATE_BASE64.
DAST_REQUEST_HEADERS 1 stringSet to a comma-separated list of request header names and values. Headers are added to every request made by DAST. For example, Cache-control: no-cache,User-Agent: DAST/1.0
DAST_SKIP_TARGET_CHECKbooleanSet to true to prevent DAST from checking that the target is available before scanning. Default: false. Introduced in GitLab 13.8.
DAST_SPIDER_MINS 1 numberThe maximum duration of the spider scan in minutes. Set to 0 for unlimited. Default: One minute, or unlimited when the scan is a full scan. Introduced in GitLab 13.1.
DAST_SPIDER_START_AT_HOSTbooleanSet to false to prevent DAST from resetting the target to its host before scanning. When true, non-host targets http://test.site/some_path is reset to http://test.site before scan. Default: true. Introduced in GitLab 13.6.
DAST_TARGET_AVAILABILITY_TIMEOUT 1 numberTime limit in seconds to wait for target availability.
DAST_USE_AJAX_SPIDER 1 booleanSet to true to use the AJAX spider in addition to the traditional spider, useful for crawling sites that require JavaScript. Default: false. Introduced in GitLab 13.1.
DAST_XML_REPORTstringThe filename of the XML report written at the end of a scan. Introduced in GitLab 13.1.
DAST_WEBSITE 1 URLThe URL of the website to scan.
DAST_ZAP_CLI_OPTIONSstringZAP server command-line options. For example, -Xmx3072m would set the Java maximum memory allocation pool size. Introduced in GitLab 13.1.
DAST_ZAP_LOG_CONFIGURATIONstringSet to a semicolon-separated list of additional log4j properties for the ZAP Server. Example: logger.httpsender.name=org.parosproxy.paros.network.HttpSender;logger.httpsender.level=debug;logger.sitemap.name=org.parosproxy.paros.model.SiteMap;logger.sitemap.level=debug;
SECURE_ANALYZERS_PREFIXURLSet the Docker registry base address from which to download the analyzer.
  1. Available to an on-demand DAST scan.

Customize DAST using command-line options

Not all DAST configuration is available via CI/CD variables. To find out all possible options, run the following configuration. Available command-line options are printed to the job log:

include:
  template: DAST.gitlab-ci.yml

dast:
  script:
    - /analyze --help

You must then overwrite the script command to pass in the appropriate argument. For example, vulnerability definitions in alpha can be included with -a. The following configuration includes those definitions:

include:
  template: DAST.gitlab-ci.yml

dast:
  script:
    - export DAST_WEBSITE=${DAST_WEBSITE:-$(cat environment_url.txt)}
    - /analyze -a -t $DAST_WEBSITE

Custom ZAProxy configuration

The ZAProxy server contains many useful configurable values. Many key/values for -config remain undocumented, but there is an untested list of possible keys. Note that these options are not supported by DAST, and may break the DAST scan when used. An example of how to rewrite the Authorization header value with TOKEN follows:

include:
  template: DAST.gitlab-ci.yml

variables:
  DAST_ZAP_CLI_OPTIONS: "-config replacer.full_list(0).description=auth -config replacer.full_list(0).enabled=true -config replacer.full_list(0).matchtype=REQ_HEADER -config replacer.full_list(0).matchstr=Authorization -config replacer.full_list(0).regex=false -config replacer.full_list(0).replacement=TOKEN"

Bleeding-edge vulnerability definitions

ZAP first creates rules in the alpha class. After a testing period with the community, they are promoted to beta. DAST uses beta definitions by default. To request alpha definitions, use the DAST_INCLUDE_ALPHA_VULNERABILITIES CI/CD variable as shown in the following configuration:

include:
  template: DAST.gitlab-ci.yml

variables:
  DAST_INCLUDE_ALPHA_VULNERABILITIES: "true"

Cloning the project’s repository

The DAST job does not require the project’s repository to be present when running, so by default GIT_STRATEGY is set to none.

On-demand scans

Version history

An on-demand DAST scan runs outside the DevOps life cycle. Changes in your repository don’t trigger the scan. You must either start it manually, or schedule it to run.

An on-demand DAST scan:

  • Can run a specific combination of a site profile and a scanner profile.
  • Is associated with your project’s default branch.
  • Is saved on creation so it can be run later.

An on-demand scan can be run in active or passive mode:

  • Passive mode is the default and runs a ZAP Baseline Scan.
  • Active mode runs a ZAP Full Scan which is potentially harmful to the site being scanned. To minimize the risk of accidental damage, running an active scan requires a validated site profile.

View on-demand DAST scans

To view on-demand scans, from your project’s home page, go to Security & Compliance > On-demand scans in the left sidebar.

On-demand scans are grouped by their status. The scan library contains all available on-demand scans.

From the On-demand scans page you can:

  • Run an on-demand scan.
  • View the results of an on-demand scan.
  • Cancel () a pending or running on-demand scan.
  • Retry () a scan that failed, or succeeded with warnings.
  • Edit () an on-demand scan’s settings.
  • Delete an on-demand scan.

Run an on-demand DAST scan

Prerequisites:

You can run an on-demand scan immediately, once at a scheduled date and time or at a specified frequency:

  • Every day
  • Every week
  • Every month
  • Every 3 months
  • Every 6 months
  • Every year

To run an on-demand scan immediately, either:

To run an on-demand scan either at a scheduled date or frequency, read Schedule an on-demand scan.

Create and run an on-demand scan immediately

  1. From your project’s home page, go to Security & Compliance > On-demand Scans in the left sidebar.
  2. Select New scan.
  3. Complete the Scan name and Description fields.
  4. In GitLab 13.10 and later, select the desired branch from the Branch dropdown list.
  5. In Scanner profile, select a scanner profile from the dropdown list.
  6. In Site profile, select a site profile from the dropdown list.
  7. To run the on-demand scan immediately, select Save and run scan. Otherwise, select Save scan to run it later.

The on-demand DAST scan runs and the project’s dashboard shows the results.

Run a saved on-demand scan

To run a saved on-demand scan:

  1. On the top bar, select Main menu > Projects and find your project.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Security & Compliance > On-demand Scans.
  3. Select the Scan library tab.
  4. In the scan’s row, select Run scan.

    If the branch saved in the scan no longer exists, you must first edit the scan, select a new branch, and save the edited scan.

The on-demand DAST scan runs, and the project’s dashboard shows the results.

Schedule an on-demand scan

To schedule a scan:

  1. On the top bar, select Main menu > Projects and find your project.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Security & Compliance > On-demand Scans.
  3. Select New scan.
  4. Complete the Scan name and Description text boxes.
  5. In GitLab 13.10 and later, from the Branch dropdown list, select the desired branch.
  6. In the Scanner profile section, from the dropdown list, select a scanner profile.
  7. In the Site profile section, from the dropdown list, select a site profile.
  8. Select Schedule scan.
  9. In the Start time section, select a time zone, date, and time.
  10. From the Repeats dropdown list, select your desired frequency:
    • To run the scan once, select Never.
    • For a recurring scan, select any other option.
  11. To run the on-demand scan immediately, select Save and run scan. To run it according to the schedule you set, select Save scan.

View details of an on-demand scan

To view details of an on-demand scan:

  1. From your project’s home page, go to Security & Compliance > On-demand scans.
  2. Select the Scan library tab.
  3. In the saved scan’s row select More actions (), then select Edit.

Edit an on-demand scan

To edit an on-demand scan:

  1. From your project’s home page, go to Security & Compliance > On-demand scans.
  2. Select the Scan library tab.
  3. In the saved scan’s row select More actions (), then select Edit.
  4. Edit the form.
  5. Select Save scan.

Delete an on-demand scan

To delete an on-demand scan:

  1. From your project’s home page, go to Security & Compliance > On-demand scans.
  2. Select the Scan library tab.
  3. In the saved scan’s row select More actions (), then select Delete.
  4. On the confirmation dialog, select Delete.

Site profile

Version history

A site profile defines the attributes and configuration details of the deployed application, website, or API to be scanned by DAST. A site profile can be referenced in .gitlab-ci.yml and on-demand scans.

A site profile contains:

  • Profile name: A name you assign to the site to be scanned. While a site profile is referenced in either .gitlab-ci.yml or an on-demand scan, it cannot be renamed.
  • Site type: The type of target to be scanned, either website or API scan.
  • Target URL: The URL that DAST runs against.
  • Excluded URLs: A comma-separated list of URLs to exclude from the scan.
  • Request headers: A comma-separated list of HTTP request headers, including names and values. These headers are added to every request made by DAST.
  • Authentication:
    • Authenticated URL: The URL of the page containing the sign-in HTML form on the target website. The username and password are submitted with the login form to create an authenticated scan.
    • Username: The username used to authenticate to the website.
    • Password: The password used to authenticate to the website.
    • Username form field: The name of username field at the sign-in HTML form.
    • Password form field: The name of password field at the sign-in HTML form.
    • Submit form field: The id or name of the element that when selected submits the sign-in HTML form.
  • Scan method: A type of method to perform API testing. The supported methods are OpenAPI, Postman Collections, and HTTP Archive (HAR) documents.
  • File URL: The URL of the OpenAPI, Postman Collection, or HTTP Archive file.

When an API site type is selected, a host override is used to ensure the API being scanned is on the same host as the target. This is done to reduce the risk of running an active scan against the wrong API.

When configured, request headers and password fields are encrypted using aes-256-gcm before being stored in the database. This data can only be read and decrypted with a valid secrets file.

Site profile validation

Version history

Site profile validation reduces the risk of running an active scan against the wrong website. A site must be validated before an active scan can run against it. The site validation methods are as follows:

  • Text file validation requires a text file be uploaded to the target site. The text file is allocated a name and content that is unique to the project. The validation process checks the file’s content.
  • Header validation requires the header Gitlab-On-Demand-DAST be added to the target site, with a value unique to the project. The validation process checks that the header is present, and checks its value.
  • Meta tag validation requires the meta tag named gitlab-dast-validation be added to the target site, with a value unique to the project. Make sure it’s added to the <head> section of the page. The validation process checks that the meta tag is present, and checks its value.

All these methods are equivalent in functionality. Use whichever is feasible.

In GitLab 14.2 and later, site profile validation happens in a CI job using the GitLab Runner.

Create a site profile

To create a site profile:

  1. From your project’s home page, go to Security & Compliance > Configuration.
  2. Select Manage in the DAST Profiles row.
  3. Select New > Site Profile.
  4. Complete the fields then select Save profile.

The site profile is created.

Edit a site profile

If a site profile is linked to a security policy, a user cannot edit the profile from this page. See Scan execution policies for more information.

When a validated site profile’s file, header, or meta tag is edited, the site’s validation status is revoked.

To edit a site profile:

  1. From your project’s home page, go to Security & Compliance > Configuration.
  2. In the DAST Profiles row select Manage.
  3. Select the Site Profiles tab.
  4. In the profile’s row select the More actions () menu, then select Edit.
  5. Edit the fields then select Save profile.

Delete a site profile

If a site profile is linked to a security policy, a user cannot delete the profile from this page. See Scan execution policies for more information.

To delete a site profile:

  1. From your project’s home page, go to Security & Compliance > Configuration.
  2. In the DAST Profiles row select Manage.
  3. Select the Site Profiles tab.
  4. In the profile’s row, select the More actions () menu, then select Delete.
  5. Select Delete to confirm the deletion.

Validate a site profile

Validating a site is required to run an active scan.

To validate a site profile:

  1. On the top bar, select Main menu > Projects and find your project.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Security & Compliance > Configuration.
  3. In the Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) section, select Manage profiles.
  4. Select the Site Profiles tab.
  5. In the profile’s row, select Validate.
  6. Select the validation method.
    1. For Text file validation:
      1. Download the validation file listed in Step 2.
      2. Upload the validation file to the host, to the location in Step 3 or any location you prefer.
      3. If required, edit the file location in Step 3.
      4. Select Validate.
    2. For Header validation:
      1. Select the clipboard icon in Step 2.
      2. Edit the header of the site to validate, and paste the clipboard content.
      3. Select the input field in Step 3 and enter the location of the header.
      4. Select Validate.
    3. For Meta tag validation:
      1. Select the clipboard icon in Step 2.
      2. Edit the content of the site to validate, and paste the clipboard content.
      3. Select the input field in Step 3 and enter the location of the meta tag.
      4. Select Validate.

The site is validated and an active scan can run against it. A site profile’s validation status is revoked only when it’s revoked manually, or its file, header, or meta tag is edited.

Retry a failed validation

Failed site validation attempts are listed on the Site profiles tab of the Manage profiles page.

To retry a site profile’s failed validation:

  1. On the top bar, select Main menu > Projects and find your project.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Security & Compliance > Configuration.
  3. In the Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) section, select Manage profiles.
  4. Select the Site Profiles tab.
  5. In the profile’s row, select Retry validation.

Revoke a site profile’s validation status

caution
When a site profile’s validation status is revoked, all site profiles that share the same URL also have their validation status revoked.

To revoke a site profile’s validation status:

  1. From your project’s home page, go to Security & Compliance > Configuration.
  2. In the DAST Profiles row select Manage.
  3. Beside the validated profile, select Revoke validation.

The site profile’s validation status is revoked.

Validated site profile headers

The following are code samples of how you can provide the required site profile header in your application.

Ruby on Rails example for on-demand scan

Here’s how you can add a custom header in a Ruby on Rails application:

class DastWebsiteTargetController < ActionController::Base
  def dast_website_target
    response.headers['Gitlab-On-Demand-DAST'] = '0dd79c9a-7b29-4e26-a815-eaaf53fcab1c'
    head :ok
  end
end

Django example for on-demand scan

Here’s how you can add a custom header in Django:

class DastWebsiteTargetView(View):
    def head(self, *args, **kwargs):
      response = HttpResponse()
      response['Gitlab-On-Demand-DAST'] = '0dd79c9a-7b29-4e26-a815-eaaf53fcab1c'

      return response

Node (with Express) example for on-demand scan

Here’s how you can add a custom header in Node (with Express):

app.get('/dast-website-target', function(req, res) {
  res.append('Gitlab-On-Demand-DAST', '0dd79c9a-7b29-4e26-a815-eaaf53fcab1c')
  res.send('Respond to DAST ping')
})

Scanner profile

Version history
  • Introduced in GitLab 13.4.
  • Added in GitLab 13.5: scan mode, AJAX spider, debug messages.

A scanner profile defines the configuration details of a security scanner. A scanner profile can be referenced in .gitlab-ci.yml and on-demand scans.

A scanner profile contains:

  • Profile name: A name you give the scanner profile. For example, “Spider_15”. While a scanner profile is referenced in either .gitlab-ci.yml or an on-demand scan, it cannot be renamed.
  • Scan mode: A passive scan monitors all HTTP messages (requests and responses) sent to the target. An active scan attacks the target to find potential vulnerabilities.
  • Spider timeout: The maximum number of minutes allowed for the spider to traverse the site.
  • Target timeout: The maximum number of seconds DAST waits for the site to be available before starting the scan.
  • AJAX spider: Run the AJAX spider, in addition to the traditional spider, to crawl the target site.
  • Debug messages: Include debug messages in the DAST console output.

Create a scanner profile

To create a scanner profile:

  1. From your project’s home page, go to Security & Compliance > Configuration.
  2. In the DAST Profiles row, select Manage.
  3. Select New > Scanner Profile.
  4. Complete the form. For details of each field, see Scanner profile.
  5. Select Save profile.

Edit a scanner profile

If a scanner profile is linked to a security policy, a user cannot edit the profile from this page. See Scan execution policies for more information.

To edit a scanner profile:

  1. From your project’s home page, go to Security & Compliance > Configuration.
  2. In the DAST Profiles row, select Manage.
  3. Select the Scanner Profiles tab.
  4. In the scanner’s row, select the More actions () menu, then select Edit.
  5. Edit the form.
  6. Select Save profile.

Delete a scanner profile

If a scanner profile is linked to a security policy, a user cannot delete the profile from this page. See Scan execution policies for more information.

To delete a scanner profile:

  1. From your project’s home page, go to Security & Compliance > Configuration.
  2. In the DAST Profiles row, select Manage.
  3. Select the Scanner Profiles tab.
  4. In the scanner’s row, select the More actions () menu, then select Delete.
  5. Select Delete.

Auditing

Introduced in GitLab 14.1.

The creation, updating, and deletion of DAST profiles, DAST scanner profiles, and DAST site profiles are included in the audit log.

Reports

The DAST tool outputs a gl-dast-report.json report file containing details of the scan and its results. This file is included in the job’s artifacts. JSON is the default format, but you can output the report in Markdown, HTML, and XML formats. To specify an alternative format, use a CI/CD variable.

For details of the report’s schema, see the schema for DAST reports. Example reports can be found in the DAST repository.

caution
The JSON report artifacts are not a public API of DAST and their format is expected to change in the future.