Secret Detection

Tier: Free, Premium, Ultimate Offering: GitLab.com, Self-managed, GitLab Dedicated

Your application might use external resources, including a CI/CD service, a database, or external storage. Access to these resources requires authentication, usually using static methods like private keys and tokens. These methods are called “secrets” because they’re not meant to be shared with anyone else.

People sometimes accidentally commit secrets to Git repositories. After a sensitive value is pushed to a remote repository, anyone with access to the repository can use the secret to impersonate the authorized user for malicious purposes. To address this risk, you should store your secrets outside your remote repositories. If a secret is exposed, you should revoke and replace it as soon as possible.

Secret Detection scans your repository to help prevent your secrets from being exposed. Secret Detection scanning works on all text files, regardless of the language or framework used.

GitLab has three methods for detecting secrets, which can be used simultaneously:

  • The pipeline method detects secrets during the project’s CI/CD pipeline. This method cannot reject pushes.
  • The secret push protection method detects secrets when users push changes to the remote Git branch. This method can reject pushes if a secret is detected.
  • The client-side method runs in your browser, and warns you if the content of text you’re about to post contains a potential secret.