Scanning with GitHub Actions

Learn how to implement Endor Labs in GitHub action workflows.

GitHub Actions is a continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) platform that allows you to automate your build, test, and deployment pipeline. You can use GitHub Actions to seamlessly include Endor Labs into your CI pipeline.

Using this pipeline, developers can view and detect:

  • Policy violations in the source code
  • Secrets inadvertently included in the source code

The Endor Labs verifications are conducted as automated checks and help you discover violations before pushing code to the repository. Information about the violations can even be included as comments on the corresponding pull request (PR). This enables developers to easily identify issues and take remedial measures early in the development life cycle.

  • For policy violations, the workflow is designed to either emit a warning or return an error based on your action policy configurations.
  • For secrets discovered in the commits, developers can view the PR comments and take necessary remedial measures.

To start using Endor Labs with GitHub:

Install Software Pre-requisites

To ensure the successful execution of the Endor Labs GitHub action, the following pre-requisites must be met:

  • The GitHub action must be able to authenticate with the Endor Labs API.
  • You must have the value of the Endor Labs namespace handy for authentication.
  • You must have access to the Endor Labs API.
  • If you are using keyless authentication, you must set an authorization policy in Endor Labs. See Authorization policies for details.

Example GitHub Action Workflow

Here is an example Endor Labs scanning workflow using GitHub actions that accomplishes the following tasks in your CI environment:

  • Tests PRs to the default branch and monitors the most recent push to the default branch.
  • Builds a Java project and sets up the Java build tools. If your project is not on Java, then configure this workflow with your project-specific steps and build tools.
  • Authenticates to Endor Labs with GitHub Actions keyless authentication.
  • Comments on PRs if any policy violations occur.
  • Generates findings and uploads results to GitHub in SARIF format.
name: Endor Labs Dependency and Secrets Scan
    branches: [ main ]
    branches: [ main ]
      security-events: write # Used to upload Sarif artifact to GitHub
      contents: read # Used to check out a private repository
      actions: read # Required for private repositories to upload Sarif files. GitHub Advanced Security licenses are required.
      id-token: write # Used for keyless authentication with Endor Labs
      issues: write # Required to automatically comment on PRs for new policy violations
      pull-requests: write # Required to automatically comment on PRs for new policy violations
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    - name: Checkout Repository
      uses: actions/checkout@v3
    - name: Setup Java
      uses: actions/setup-java@v3
        distribution: 'microsoft'
        java-version: '17'
    - name: Build Package
      run: mvn clean install
    - name: Endor Labs Scan Pull Request
      if: github.event_name == 'pull_request'
      uses: endorlabs/github-action@v1.1.1
        namespace: 'example' # Replace with your Endor Labs tenant namespace
        scan_dependencies: true
        scan_secrets: true
        pr: true
        enable_pr_comments: ${{ env.ENDORCTL_PR }}
        github_token: ${{ secrets.GITHUB_TOKEN }} # Required for PR comments on new policy violations

      id-token: write
      repository-projects: read
      pull-requests: read
      contents: read
    name: endorctl-scan
    - uses: actions/checkout@v3

    - name: 'Endor Labs Scan Push to main'
      if: ${{ github.event_name == 'push' }}
      uses: endorlabs/github-action@v1.1.1
        namespace: 'example' # Replace with your Endor Labs tenant namespace
        scan_dependencies: true
        scan_secrets: true
        pr: false
        scan_summary_output_type: 'table'
        sarif_file: 'findings.sarif'
    - name: Upload findings to github
      uses: github/codeql-action/upload-sarif@9885f86fab4879632b7e44514f19148225dfbdcd
        sarif_file: 'findings.sarif'

Authenticate with Endor Labs

Endor Labs recommends using keyless authentication in CI environments. Keyless authentication is more secure and reduces the cost of secret rotation. To set up keyless authentication see Keyless Authentication.

If you choose not to use keyless authentication, you can configure an API key and secret in GitHub for authentication as outlined in Managing API keys.

Authentication Without Keyless Authentication for GitHub

If you are not using keyless authentication for GitHub Actions, you must not provide id-token: write permissions to your GitHub token unless specifically required by a step in this job. You must also set enable_github_action_token: false in your Endor Labs GitHub action configuration.

The following example configuration uses the Endor Labs API key for authentication:

      - name: Scan with Endor Labs
        uses: endorlabs/github-action@v1.1.1
          namespace: 'example'
          api_key: ${{ secrets.ENDOR_API_CREDENTIALS_KEY }}
          api_secret: ${{ secrets.ENDOR_API_CREDENTIALS_SECRET }}
          enable_github_action_token: false

The following example configuration uses a GCP service account for keyless authentication to Endor Labs:

      - name: Scan with Endor Labs
        uses: endorlabs/github-action@v1.1.1
          namespace: 'example'
          gcp_service_account: '<Insert_Your_Service_Account>@<Insert_Your_Project>'
          enable_github_action_token: false

Enable PR Comments

Make sure that your GitHub action workflow includes the following:

  • The workflow must have a with clause including: enable_pr_comments to true to publish new findings as review comments and github_token: ${{ secrets.GITHUB_TOKEN }}. This token is automatically provisioned by GitHub when using GitHub actions. See GitHub configuration parameters for more information.
  • To grant Endor Labs the ability to comment on PRs you must include the permissions issues: write and pull-requests: write.

The following example configuration comments on PRs if a policy violation is detected.

      - name: Endor Labs Scan PR to Default Branch
        if: github.event_name == 'pull_request'
        uses: endorlabs/github-action@v1.1.1
          namespace: 'example' # Update with your Endor Labs namespace
          scan_summary_output_type: 'table'
          scan_dependencies: true
          scan_secrets: true
          pr: true
          enable_github_action_token: true
          enable_pr_comments: ${{ env.ENDORCTL_PR }}
          github_token: ${{ secrets.GITHUB_TOKEN }}

Configure Endor Labs Action Policies

Configure an action policy in the Endor Labs UI to perform an action when a rule is triggered. See Configuring Policies for details on action policies.

  • Set the Policy Template to Detected Secrets and select the Template Parameters as desired.
  • Choose Enforce Policy and
    • Select Warn as the recommended action.
    • Select Break the Build to fail the build CI pipeline.

View PR Comments

You can now proceed to check out the code, install the build toolchain and build the code. When you raise a PR, Endor Labs will scan and detect any policy violations and add PR comments accordingly. The CI pipeline will either warn you or fail the build based on your action policy configuration. The PR comments will also include recommendations to help you take necessary remedial actions.

Endor Labs GitHub Action Configuration Parameters

The following input configuration parameters are supported for the Endor Labs GitHub Action:

Flags Description
additional_args Use additional_args to add custom arguments to the endorctl scan command.
api_key Set the API key used to authenticate with Endor Labs.
api_secret Set the secret corresponding to the API key used to authenticate with Endor Labs.
enable_github_action_token Set to false if you prefer to use another form of authentication over GitHub action OIDC tokens. (Default: true)
enable_pr_comments Set to true to publish new findings as review comments. Must be set together with pr and github_token. Additionally, the issues: write and pull-requests: write permissions must be set in the workflow. (Default: false)
endorctl_checksum Set to the checksum associated with a pinned version of endorctl.
endorctl_version Set to a version of endorctl to pin this specific version for use. Defaults to the latest version.
export_scan_result_artifact Set to false to disable the json scan result artifact export. (Default: true)
gcp_service_account Set the target service account for GCP based authentication. GCP authentication is only enabled if this flag is set. Cannot be used with api_key.
github_token Set the token used to authenticate with GitHub. Must be provided if enable_pr_comments is set to true
log_level Set the log level. (Default: info)
log_verbose Set to true to enable verbose logging. (Default: false)
namespace Set to the namespace of the project that you are working with. (Required)
pr Set to false to track this scan as a monitored version within Endor Labs, as opposed to a point in time policy and finding test for a PR. (Default: true)
pr_baseline Set to the git reference that you are merging to, such as the default branch. Enables endorctl to compare findings so developers are only alerted to issues un the current changeset. Example: pr_baseline: "main". Note: Not needed if enable_pr_comments is set to true.
run_stats Set to false to disable reporting of CPU/RAM/time scan statistics via time -v (may be required on Windows runners). (Default: true)
sarif_file Set to a location on your GitHub runner to output the findings in SARIF format.
scan_dependencies Scan git commits and generate findings for all dependencies. (Default: true)
scan_git_logs Perform a more complete and detailed scan of secrets in the repository history. Must be used together with scan_secrets. (Default: false)
scan_secrets Scan source code repository and generate findings for secrets. See also scan_git_logs. (Default: false)
scan_summary_output_type Set the desired output format to table, json, yaml, or summary. (Default: json)
tags Specify a list of user-defined tags to add to this scan. Tags can be used to search and filter scans later.