Scan git repos for secrets using regex and entropy 🔑
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Gitleaks is a SAST tool for detecting hardcoded secrets like passwords, api keys, and tokens in git repos. Gitleaks is an easy-to-use, all-in-one solution for finding secrets, past or present, in your code.

Introduction Video




Gitleaks can be installed using Homebrew, Docker, or Go. Gitleaks is also available in binary form for many popular platforms and OS types on the releases page. In addition, Gitleaks can be implemented as a pre-commit hook directly in your repo.

brew install gitleaks
docker pull zricethezav/gitleaks
# or
cd to/your/repo/
docker run -v ${PWD}:/my-repo zricethezav/gitleaks:latest --path="/my-repo" [OPTIONS]
GO111MODULE=on go get
As a pre-commit hook

See pre-commit for instructions.

Sample .pre-commit-config.yaml

-   repo:
    rev: v7.5.0
    -   id: gitleaks

Usage and Options

  gitleaks [OPTIONS]

Application Options:
  -v, --verbose             Show verbose output from scan
  -q, --quiet               Sets log level to error and only output leaks, one json object per line
  -r, --repo-url=           Repository URL
  -p, --path=               Path to directory (repo if contains .git) or file
  -c, --config-path=        Path to config
      --repo-config-path=   Path to gitleaks config relative to repo root
      --clone-path=         Path to clone repo to disk
      --version             Version number
      --username=           Username for git repo
      --password=           Password for git repo
      --access-token=       Access token for git repo
      --threads=            Maximum number of threads gitleaks spawns
      --ssh-key=            Path to ssh key used for auth
      --unstaged            Run gitleaks on unstaged code
      --branch=             Branch to scan
      --redact              Redact secrets from log messages and leaks
      --debug               Log debug messages
      --no-git              Treat git repos as plain directories and scan those files
      --leaks-exit-code=    Exit code when leaks have been encountered (default: 1)
      --append-repo-config  Append the provided or default config with the repo config.
      --additional-config=  Path to an additional gitleaks config to append with an existing config. Can be used with --append-repo-config to append up to three configurations
  -o, --report=             Report output path
  -f, --format=             JSON, CSV, SARIF (default: json)
      --files-at-commit=    Sha of commit to scan all files at commit
      --commit=             Sha of commit to scan or "latest" to scan the last commit of the repository
      --commits=            Comma separated list of a commits to scan
      --commits-file=       Path to file of line separated list of commits to scan
      --commit-from=        Commit to start scan from
      --commit-to=          Commit to stop scan
      --commit-since=       Scan commits more recent than a specific date. Ex: '2006-01-02' or '2006-01-02T15:04:05-0700' format.
      --commit-until=       Scan commits older than a specific date. Ex: '2006-01-02' or '2006-01-02T15:04:05-0700' format.
      --depth=              Number of commits to scan

Help Options:
  -h, --help                Show this help message


Basic repo-url scan:

This scans the entire history of tests/secrets and logs leaks as they are encountered -v/--verbose being set.

gitleaks --repo-url= -v

Basic repo-url scan output to a report:

If you want the report in sarif or csv you can set the -f/--format option

gitleaks --repo-url= -v --report=my-report.json

Scan specific commit:

gitleaks --repo-url= --commit=commit-sha -v

Scan local repo:

gitleaks --path=path/to/local/repo -v

Scan repos contained in a parent directory:

If you have repo1, repo2, repo3 all under path/to/local, gitleaks will discover and scan those repos.

gitleaks --path=path/to/local/ -v

Scan local directory:

If you want to scan the current contents of a repo, ignoring git alltogether. You can use the --no-git option to do this.

gitleaks --path=path/to/local/repo -v --no-git

Scan a file:

Or if you want to scan a single file using gitleaks rules. You can do this by specifying the file in --path and including the --no-git option.

gitleaks --path=path/to/local/repo/main.go -v --no-git

Scan unstaged changes:

If you have unstaged changes are are currently at the root of the repo, you can run gitleaks with no --path or --repo-url specified which will run a scan on your uncommitted changes. Or if you want to specify a path, you can run:

gitleaks --path=path/to/local/repo -v --unstaged


Provide your own gitleaks configurations with --config-path or --repo-config-path. --config-path loads a local gitleaks configuration whereas --repo-config-path will load a configuration present just in the repo you want to scan. For example, gitleaks --repo-config-path=".github/gitleaks.config". The default configuration Gitleaks uses is located here. More configuration examples can be seen here. Configuration files will contain a few different toml tables. Further explanation is provided below.

Rules summary

The rules are written in TOML as defined in TomlLoader struct, and can be summarized as:

  description = "a string describing one of many rule in this config"
  regex = '''one-go-style-regex-for-this-rule''' 
  file = '''a-file-name-regex'''
  path = '''a-file-path-regex'''
  tags = ["tag","another tag"]
  [[rules.entropies]] # note these are strings, not floats
    Min = "3.5"
    Max = "4.5"
    Group = "1"
    description = "a string"
    files = ['''one-file-name-regex''']
    commits = [ "commit-A", "commit-B"]
    paths = ['''one-file-path-regex''']
    regexes = ['''one-regex-within-the-already-matched-regex''']

  description = "a description string for a global allowlist config"
  commits = [ "commit-A", "commit-B"]
  files = [ '''file-regex-a''', '''file-regex-b''']
  paths = [ '''path-regex-a''', '''path-regex-b''']
  repos = [ '''repo-regex-a''', '''repo-regex-b''']
  regexes = ['''one-regex-within-the-already-matched-regex''']

Regular expressions are NOT the full Perl set, so there are no look-aheads or look-behinds.


Example 1

The first and most commonly edited array of tables is [[rules]]. This is where you can define your own custom rules for Gitleaks to use while scanning repos. Example keys/values within the [[rules]] table:

  description = "generic secret regex"
  regex = '''secret(.{0,20})([0-9a-zA-Z-._{}$\/\+=]{20,120})'''
  tags = ["secret", "example"]

Example 2

We can also combine regular expressions AND entropy:

  description = "entropy and regex example"
  regex = '''secret(.{0,20})['|"]([0-9a-zA-Z-._{}$\/\+=]{20,120})['|"]'''
	Min = "4.5"
        Max = "4.7"

Translating this rule to English, this rule states: "if we encounter a line of code that matches regex AND the line falls within the bounds of a Shannon entropy of 4.5 to 4.7, then the line must be a leak"

Example 3

Let's compare two lines of code:




The first line of code is an example of a hardcoded secret being assigned to the variable aws_secret. The second line of code is an example of a secret being assigned via env variables to aws_secret. Both would be caught by the rule defined in example 2 but only the first line is actually a leak. Let's define a new rule that will capture only the first line of code. We can do this by combining regular expression groups and entropy.

  description = "entropy and regex example"
  regex = '''secret(.{0,20})['|"]([0-9a-zA-Z-._{}$\/\+=]{20,120})['|"]'''
	Min = "4.5"
        Max = "4.7"
        Group = "2"

Notice how we added Group = "2" to this rule. We can translate this rule to English: "if we encounter a line of code that matches regex AND the entropy of the second regex group falls within the bounds of a Shannon entropy of 4.5 to 4.7, then the line must be a leak"

Example 4: Using allowlist regex

The proper Perl regex for AWS secret keys is (?<![A-Za-z0-9\\+])[A-Za-z0-9\\+=]{40}(?![A-Za-z0-9\\+=]) but the Go library doesn't do lookahead/lookbehind, so we'll look for 40 base64 characters, then allowlist if they're embedded in a string of 41 base64 characters, that is, without any delimiters. This will make a false negative for, say:


So you can use the following to effectively create the proper Perl regex:

	description = "AWS secret key regardless of labeling"
	regex = '''.?[A-Za-z0-9\\+=]{40}.?'''
                description = "41 base64 characters is not an AWS secret key"
		regexes = ['''[A-Za-z0-9\\+=]{41}''']

Exit Codes

You can always set the exit code when leaves are encountered with the --leaks-exit-code flag. Default exit codes below:

0 - no leaks present
1 - leaks or error encountered

Sponsors ❤️

Organization Sponsors


Gamma proactively detects and remediates data leaks across cloud apps. Scan your public repos for secret leaks with Gamma

Individual Sponsors

These users are sponsors of gitleaks:

Logo Attribution

The Gitleaks logo uses the Git Logo created Jason Long is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.