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Fully open-source security audit for project dependencies based on known vulnerabilities and advisories.

Project description


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dep-scan is a fully open-source security audit tool for project dependencies based on known vulnerabilities and advisories. The output is fully compatible with grafeas. The tool is ideal for CI environments with built-in build breaker logic.


The tool is a work-in-progress and is not ready for production use. Consider this as a preview for demonostration purposes. There are a number of unresolved problems:

  • Large number of false positives due to overly jealous version matching (ignores any excludes :()), in-ability to distinguish package names belonging to different groups (since the matching is purely based on names and versions!)

Docker Repository on Quay


  • Package vulnerability scanning is performed locally and is quite fast. No server is used!
  • Configurable cache and sync functionality to manage local cache data
  • Supports direct input from sast-scan
  • Automatic submission to grafeas server (Coming soon!)


dep-scan is ideal for use with CI and also as a tool for local development.

Customisation through environment variables

Following environment variables can be used to customise the behaviour.

  • VULNDB_HOME - Directory to use for caching database. For docker based execution, this directory should get mounted as a volume from the host
  • NVD_START_YEAR - Default: 2018. Supports upto 2002
  • GITHUB_PAGE_COUNT - Default: 2. Supports upto 20

Scanning projects locally (Python version)

pip install appthreat-depscan

This would install a command called scan. You can invoke this command directly with the various options.

scan --src /app --report_file /app/reports/depscan.json

Scanning projects locally (Docker container)

appthreat/dep-scan or container image can be used to perform the scan.

To scan with default settings

docker run --rm -v $PWD:/app appthreat/dep-scan scan --src /app --report_file /app/reports/depscan.json

To scan with custom environment variables based configuration

docker run --rm \
    -e VULNDB_HOME=/db \
    -e NVD_START_YEAR=2010 \
    -e GITHUB_TOKEN=<token> \
    -v /tmp:/db \
    -v $PWD:/app appthreat/dep-scan scan --src /app --report_file /app/reports/depscan.json

In the above example, /tmp is mounted as /db into the container. This directory is then specified as VULNDB_HOME for caching the vulnerability information. This way the database can be cached and reused to improve performance.

GitHub security advisory

To download security advisories from GitHub, a personal access token with the following scope is necessary.

  • read:packages
export GITHUB_TOKEN="<PAT token>"

This environment variable is not required when dep-scan is executed via GitHub action.


Dependency Check is considered to be the industry standard for open-source dependency scanning. After personally using this great product for a number of years I decided to write my own from scratch partly as a dedication to this project. By using a streaming database based on msgpack and using json schema, dep-scan is more performant than dependency check in CI environments. Plus with support for GitHub advisory source and grafeas report export and submission, dep-scan is on track to become a next-generation dependency audit tool

There are a number of other tools that piggy back on Sonatype ossindex. For some reason, I always felt uncomfortable letting a commercial company track the usage of various projects across the world. dep-scan is completely private and does no tracking!

Project details

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