Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) (ULTIMATE)
NOTE: 4 of the top 6 attacks were application based. Download our whitepaper, "A Seismic Shift in Application Security" to learn how to protect your organization.
Running static checks on your code is the first step to detect vulnerabilities that can put the security of your code at risk. Yet, once deployed, your application is exposed to a new category of possible attacks, such as cross-site scripting or broken authentication flaws. This is where Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) comes into place.
If you are using GitLab CI/CD, you can analyze your running web application(s) for known vulnerabilities using Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST).
GitLab checks the DAST report, compares the found vulnerabilities between the source and target branches, and shows the information right on the merge request.
By clicking on one of the detected linked vulnerabilities, you will be able to see the details and the URL(s) affected.
By default, DAST executes ZAP Baseline Scan and will perform passive scanning only. It will not actively attack your application.
However, DAST can be configured to also perform a so-called "active scan". That is, attack your application and produce a more extensive security report. It can be very useful combined with Review Apps.
It helps you automatically find security vulnerabilities in your running web applications while you are developing and testing your applications.
To run a DAST job, you need GitLab Runner with the
For GitLab 11.9 and later, to enable DAST, you must
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
in that template.
Add the following to your
include: template: DAST.gitlab-ci.yml variables: DAST_WEBSITE: https://example.com
There are two ways to define the URL to be scanned by DAST:
- Set the
- Add it in an
environment_url.txtfile at the root of your project.
The included template will create a
dast job in your CI/CD pipeline and scan
your project's source code for possible vulnerabilities.
The results will be 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.
It's also possible to authenticate the user before performing the DAST checks:
include: template: DAST.gitlab-ci.yml variables: DAST_WEBSITE: https://example.com DAST_AUTH_URL: https://example.com/sign-in DAST_USERNAME: firstname.lastname@example.org DAST_PASSWORD: john-doe-password DAST_USERNAME_FIELD: session[user] # the name of username field at the sign-in HTML form DAST_PASSWORD_FIELD: session[password] # the name of password field at the sign-in HTML form DAST_AUTH_EXCLUDE_URLS: http://example.com/sign-out,http://example.com/sign-out-2 # optional, URLs to skip during the authenticated scan; comma-separated, no spaces in between
The results will be 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.
DAST can be configured to perform ZAP Full Scan, which includes both passive and active scanning against the same target website:
include: template: DAST.gitlab-ci.yml variables: DAST_FULL_SCAN_ENABLED: "true"
Customizing the DAST settings
include: template: DAST.gitlab-ci.yml variables: DAST_WEBSITE: https://example.com DAST_TARGET_AVAILABILITY_TIMEOUT: 120
Because the template is evaluated before the pipeline configuration, the last mention of the variable will take precedence.
Overriding the DAST template
If you want to override the job definition (for example, change properties like
dependencies), you need to declare a
dast job after the
template inclusion and specify any additional keys under it. For example:
include: template: DAST.gitlab-ci.yml dast: stage: dast # IMPORTANT: don't forget to add this variables: DAST_WEBSITE: https://example.com CI_DEBUG_TRACE: "true"
As the DAST job belongs to a separate
dast stage that runs after all
don't forget to add
stage: dast when you override the template job definition.
DAST can be configured using environment variables.
Since it's a wrapper around the ZAP scanning scripts
or full scan), it
accepts all arguments those scripts recognize (the arguments are the same).
The choice of the scan type depends on the
||yes||The URL of the website to scan.|
||no||The authentication URL of the website to scan.|
||no||The username to authenticate to in the website.|
||no||The password to authenticate to in the website.|
||no||The name of username field at the sign-in HTML form.|
||no||The name of password field at the sign-in HTML form.|
||no||The URLs to skip during the authenticated scan; comma-separated, no spaces in between.|
||no||Time limit in seconds to wait for target availability. Scan is attempted nevertheless if it runs out. Integer. Defaults to
||no||Switches the tool to execute ZAP Full Scan instead of ZAP Baseline Scan. Boolean.
The Security Dashboard is a good place to get an overview of all the security vulnerabilities in your groups and projects. Read more about the Security Dashboard.
Interacting with the vulnerabilities
Once a vulnerability is found, you can interact with it. Read more on how to interact with the vulnerabilities.
Vulnerabilities database update
For more information about the vulnerabilities database update, check the maintenance table.