Checking vulnerabilities in 3rd party dependencies using OWASP Dependency-Check Plugin in Jenkins

Vulnerabilities are Everywhere. When creating secure software, caring about the security of our own code is not only the important factor. Vulnerabilities might also arise from a 3rd party component, so handling those vulnerabilities is another important aspect of creating secure software.

OWASP Dependency Check

OWASP Dependency-Check is an open source solution of the OWASP which identifies project dependencies and checks if there are any known, publicly disclosed, vulnerabilities.Dependency-Check can currently be used to scan Java, .NET, Python, Ruby (gemspec), PHP (composer), and Node.js applications (and their dependent libraries), additionally, it provides limited support for C/C++ projects[1][2]

Dependency-Check includes a command line interface (CLI), an Ant task, and Maven plugin. All three generate the same HTML and XML reports. The Dependency-Check Jenkins Plugin relies on the XML report generated from the CLI, Ant task or Maven plugin[1]

Configuring OWASP Dependency-Check Plugin in Jenkins to check vulnerabilities

  1. Install OWASP Dependency-Check Plugin[3]
    Manage jenkins → Manage plugins → Available

2. Now create a new job using new Item option and click OK(I have created the project as a Freestyle project)

3. Then you will be redirected to the job configuration section, Configure the source code management section with git/subversion URL

4. Configure an external job to maintain NVD updates

When ever we run the build steps of OWASP dependency-check(Invoke OWASP Dependancy-Check analysis option) with the default configurations, it will check each and every dependencies in our job with National Vulnerability Database, so it is always recommended to maintain a separate job which can snapshot and maintain NVD in our local machine.

To do that ->

  • Create another freestyle job
  • Configure a build trigger which can run your job periodically, like daily
  • Configure the build option to get the NVD updates, and specify the path where the updates needs to be stored
  • Now build the new job.

After the build NVD snapshot will be available in the Data Directory we have configured.

5. Configure Dependency-Check-Plugin for the job

Now in your job Build option, select Invoke OWASP Dependancy-Check analysis as the build step.

Click on the Advanced button and enter the data directory(Local NVD File) configured in the external job before. Activate the Disable NVD auto-update checkbox since all updates are done by the external job.

Note -: If you don’t like to have an additional job configuration you can skip step 4 and leave the option Disable NVD auto-update disabled, but when doing the analysis using the global NVD in every build is time-consuming.

6. Publish analysis results and configure the status thresholds.

Add Publish OWASP Dependency-Check analysis results as a post build action and configure the status thresholds as you like

Save and run your job. Like many security scan results, these report you get may contain false positives, verify each finding



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