Customize rulesets

Version history
  • Introduced in GitLab 13.5.
  • Added support for passthrough chains. Expanded to include additional passthrough types of file, git, and url in GitLab 14.6.
  • Added support for overriding rules in GitLab 14.8.

You can customize the default scanning rules provided by our SAST analyzers. Ruleset customization supports the following that can be used simultaneously:

To customize the default scanning rules, create a file containing custom rules. These rules are passed through to the analyzer’s underlying scanner tools.

To create a custom ruleset:

  1. Create a .gitlab directory at the root of your project, if one doesn’t already exist.
  2. Create a custom ruleset file named sast-ruleset.toml in the .gitlab directory.

Disable predefined analyzer rules

To disable analyzer rules:

  1. Set the disabled flag to true in the context of a ruleset section

  2. In one or more ruleset.identifier sub sections, list the rules that you want disabled. Every ruleset.identifier section has:

  • a type field, to name the predefined rule identifier that the targeted analyzer uses.
  • a value field, to name the rule to be disabled.

Example: Disable predefined rules of SAST analyzers

In the following example, the disabled rules are assigned to eslint and sobelow by matching the type and value of identifiers:

[eslint]
  [[eslint.ruleset]]
    disable = true
    [eslint.ruleset.identifier]
      type = "eslint_rule_id"
      value = "security/detect-object-injection"

  [[eslint.ruleset]]
    disable = true
    [eslint.ruleset.identifier]
      type = "cwe"
      value = "185"

[sobelow]
  [[sobelow.ruleset]]
    disable = true
    [sobelow.ruleset.identifier]
      type = "sobelow_rule_id"
      value = "sql_injection"

Those vulnerabilities containing the provided type and value are now disabled, meaning they won’t be displayed in Merge Request nor the Vulnerability Report.

Override predefined analyzer rules

To override analyzer rules:

  1. In one or more ruleset.identifier subsections, list the rules that you want to override. Every ruleset.identifier section has:

    • a type field, to name the predefined rule identifier that the targeted analyzer uses.
    • a value field, to name the rule to be overridden.
  2. In the ruleset.override context of a ruleset section, provide the keys to override. Any combination of keys can be overridden. Valid keys are:

    • description
    • message
    • name
    • severity (valid options are: Critical, High, Medium, Low, Unknown, Info)

Example: Override predefined rules of SAST analyzers

Before adding a ruleset, we verify which vulnerability will be overwritten by viewing the gl-sast-report.json:

"identifiers": [
        {
          "type": "gosec_rule_id",
          "name": "Gosec Rule ID G307",
          "value": "G307"
        },
        {
          "type": "CWE",
          "name": "CWE-703",
          "value": "703",
          "url": "https://cwe.mitre.org/data/definitions/703.html"
        }
      ]

In the following example, rules from gosec are matched by the type and value of identifiers and then overridden:

[gosec]
  [[gosec.ruleset]]
    [gosec.ruleset.identifier]
        type = "CWE"
        value = "703"
    [gosec.ruleset.override]
      severity = "Critical"

If a vulnerability is found with a type CWE with a value of 703 then the vulnerability severity is overwritten to Critical.

Synthesize a custom configuration

To create a custom configuration, you can use passthrough chains.

A passthrough is a single step in a passthrough chain. The passthrough is evaluated in a sequence to incrementally build a configuration. The configuration is then passed to the target analyzer.

A configuration section for an analyzer has the following parameters:

ParameterExplanation
descriptionDescription about the analyzer configuration section.
targetdirThe targetdir parameter defines the directory where the final configuration is located. If targetdir is empty, the analyzer uses a random directory. The maximum size of targetdir is 100MB.
validateIf set to true, the target files for passthroughs (raw, file and url) are validated. The validation works for yaml, xml, json and toml files. The proper validator is identified based on the extension of the target file. By default, validate is set to false.
interpolateIf set to true, environment variable interpolation is enabled so that the configuration uses secrets/tokens. We advise using this feature with caution to not leak any secrets. By default, interpolate is set to false.
timeoutThe total timeout for the evaluation of a passthrough chain is set to 60 seconds. If timeout is not set, the default timeout is 60 seconds. The timeout cannot exceed 300 seconds.

A configuration section can include one or more passthrough sections. The maximum number of passthrough sections is 20. There are several types of passthroughs:

TypeDescription
fileUse a file that is already available in the Git repository.
rawProvide the configuration inline.
gitPull the configuration from a remote Git repository.
urlFetch the analyzer configuration through HTTP.

If multiple passthrough sections are defined in a passthrough chain, their position in the chain defines the order in which they are evaluated.

  • Passthroughs listed later in the chain sequence have a higher precedence.
  • Passthroughs with a higher precedence overwrite (default) and append data yielded by previous passthroughs. This is useful for cases where you need to use or modify an existing configuration.

Configure a passthrough these parameters:

ParameterExplanation
typeOne of file, raw, git or url.
targetThe target file that contains the data written by the passthrough evaluation. If no value is provided, a random target file is generated.
mode overwrite: if target exists, overwrites the file; append: append to file instead. The default is overwrite.
refThis option only applies to the git passthrough type and contains the name of the branch or the SHA to be used.
subdirThis option only applies to the git passthrough type and can be used to only consider a certain subdirectory of the source Git repository.
valueFor the file url and git types, value defines the source location of the file/Git repository; for the raw type, value carries the raw content to be passed through.
validatorCan be used to explicitly invoke validators (xml, yaml, json, toml) on the target files after the application of a passthrough. Per default, no validator is set.

The amount of data generated by a single passthrough is limited to 1MB.

Passthrough configuration examples

Raw passthrough for nodejs-scan

Define a custom analyzer configuration. In this example, customized rules are defined for the nodejs-scan scanner:

[nodejs-scan]
  description = 'custom ruleset for nodejs-scan'

  [[nodejs-scan.passthrough]]
    type  = "raw"
    value = '''
- nodejs-extensions:
  - .js

  template-extensions:
  - .new
  - .hbs
  - ''

  ignore-filenames:
- skip.js

  ignore-paths:
  - __MACOSX
  - skip_dir
  - node_modules

  ignore-extensions:
  - .hbs

  ignore-rules:
  - regex_injection_dos
  - pug_jade_template
  - express_xss

'''

File passthrough for Gosec

Provide the name of the file containing a custom analyzer configuration. In this example, customized rules for the gosec scanner are contained in the file gosec-config.json:

[gosec]
  description = 'custom ruleset for gosec'

  [[gosec.passthrough]]
    type  = "file"
    value = "gosec-config.json"

Passthrough chain for Semgrep

In the below example, we generate a custom configuration under the /sgrules target directory with a total timeout of 60 seconds.

Several passthrouh types generate a configuration for the target analyzer:

  • Two git passthrough sections pull the head of branch refs/remotes/origin/test from the myrules Git repository, and revision 97f7686 from the sast-rules Git repository. From the sast-rules Git repository, only data from the go subdirectory is considered.
    • The sast-rules entry has a higher precedence because it appears later in the configuration.
    • If there is a filename collision between files in both repositories, files from the sast repository overwrite files from the myrules repository, as sast-rules has higher precedence.
  • The raw entry creates a file named insecure.yml under /sgrules. The full path is /sgrules/insecure.yml.
  • The url entry fetches a configuration made available through a URL and stores it in the /sgrules/gosec.yml file.

Afterwards, Semgrep is invoked with the final configuration located under /sgrules.

[semgrep]
  description = 'semgrep custom rules configuration'
  targetdir = "/sgrules"
  timeout = 60

  [[semgrep.passthrough]]
    type  = "git"
    value = "https://gitlab.com/user/myrules.git"
    ref = "refs/remotes/origin/test"

  [[semgrep.passthrough]]
    type  = "git"
    value = "https://gitlab.com/gitlab-org/secure/gsoc-sast-vulnerability-rules/playground/sast-rules.git"
    ref = "97f7686db058e2141c0806a477c1e04835c4f395"
    subdir = "go"

  [[semgrep.passthrough]]
    type  = "raw"
    target = "insecure.yml"
    value = """
rules:
- id: "insecure"
  patterns:
  - pattern: "func insecure() {...}"
  message: |
    Insecure function insecure detected
  metadata:
    cwe: "CWE-200: Exposure of Sensitive Information to an Unauthorized Actor"
  severity: "ERROR"
  languages:
  - "go"
    """

  [[semgrep.passthrough]]
    type  = "url"
    value = "https://semgrep.dev/c/p/gosec"
    target = "gosec.yml"

Interpolation

The code snippet below shows an example configuration that uses an environment variable $GITURL to access a private repositories with a Git URL. The variable contains a username and token in the value field (for example https://user:token@url). It does not explicitly store credentials in the configuration file. To reduce the risk of leaking secrets through created paths and files, use this feature with caution.

[semgrep]
  description = 'semgrep custom rules configuration'
  targetdir = "/sgrules"
  interpolate = true

  [[semgrep.passthrough]]
    type  = "git"
    value = "$GITURL"
    ref = "refs/remotes/origin/main"

Configure the append mode for passthroughs

To append data to previous passthroughs, use the append mode for the passthrough types file, url, and raw.

Passthroughs in override mode overwrite files created when preceding passthroughs in the chain find a naming collision. If mode is set to append, a passthrough appends data to the files created by its predecessors instead of overwriting.

In the below Semgrep configuration,/sgrules/insecure.yml assembles two passthroughs. The rules are:

  • insecure
  • secret

These rules add a search pattern to the analyzer and extends Semgrep capabilities.

For passthrough chains we recommend that you enable validation. To enable validation, you can either:

  • set validate to true

  • set a passthrough validator to xml, json, yaml, or toml.

[semgrep]
  description = 'semgrep custom rules configuration'
  targetdir = "/sgrules"
  validate = true

  [[semgrep.passthrough]]
    type  = "raw"
    target = "insecure.yml"
    value = """
rules:
- id: "insecure"
  patterns:
  - pattern: "func insecure() {...}"
  message: |
    Insecure function insecure detected
  metadata:
    cwe: "...
  severity: "ERROR"
  languages:
  - "go"
"""

  [[semgrep.passthrough]]
    type  = "raw"
    mode  = "append"
    target = "insecure.yml"
    value = """
- id: "secret"
  patterns:
  - pattern-either:
    - pattern: "$MASK = \"...\""
  - metavariable-regex:
      metavariable: "$MASK"
      regex: "(password|pass|passwd|pwd|secret|token)"
  message: |
    Use of Hard-coded Password
    cwe: "..."
  severity: "ERROR"
  languages:
  - "go"
"""