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Managing alerts from secret scanning

You can view and close alerts for secrets checked in to your repository.

Who can use this feature

People with admin access to a repository can view and dismiss secret scanning alerts for the repository.

Secret scanning alerts for partners runs automatically on public repositories to notify service providers about leaked secrets on

Secret scanning alerts for users are available for free on all public repositories. Organizations using GitHub Enterprise Cloud with a license for GitHub Advanced Security can also enable secret scanning alerts for users on their private and internal repositories. For more information, see "About secret scanning" and "About GitHub Advanced Security."

Managing secret scanning alerts

Note: Alerts are created only for repositories with secret scanning alerts for users enabled. Secrets found in public repositories using the free secret scanning alerts for partners service are reported directly to the partner, without creating an alert. For more information, see "Secret scanning patterns."

  1. On, navigate to the main page of the repository.

  2. Under the repository name, click Security. If you cannot see the "Security" tab, select the dropdown menu, and then click Security. Screenshot of a repository header showing the tabs. The "Security" tab is highlighted by a dark orange outline.

  3. In the left sidebar, under "Vulnerability alerts", click Secret scanning.

  4. Under "Secret scanning" click the alert you want to view.

  5. Optionally, if the leaked secret is a GitHub token, check the validity of the secret and follow the remediation steps.

    Screenshot of the UI for a GitHub token, showing the validity check and suggested remediation steps.

    Note: Validity check for GitHub tokens is currently in public beta and subject to change.

    GitHub provides information about the validity of the secret, for GitHub tokens only.

    Active secretGitHub confirmed this secret is active
    Active secretGitHub checked with this secret's provider and found that the secret is active
    Possibly active secretGitHub does not support validation checks for this token type yet
    Possibly active secretGitHub could not verify this secret
    Secret appears inactiveYou should make sure no unauthorized access has already occurred
  6. To dismiss an alert, select the "Close as" dropdown menu and click a reason for resolving an alert.

    Screenshot of a secret scanning alert. A dropdown menu, titled "Close as", is expanded and highlighted in a dark orange outline.

  7. Optionally, in the "Comment" field, add a dismissal comment. The dismissal comment will be added to the alert timeline and can be used as justification during auditing and reporting. You can view the history of all dismissed alerts and dismissal comments in the alert timeline. You can also retrieve or set a comment by using the Secret scanning API. The comment is contained in the resolution_comment field. For more information, see "Secret scanning" in the REST API documentation.

  8. Click Close alert.

Securing compromised secrets

Once a secret has been committed to a repository, you should consider the secret compromised. GitHub recommends the following actions for compromised secrets:

  • For a compromised GitHub personal access token, delete the compromised token, create a new token, and update any services that use the old token. For more information, see "Creating a personal access token."
  • For all other secrets, first verify that the secret committed to GitHub Enterprise Cloud is valid. If so, create a new secret, update any services that use the old secret, and then delete the old secret.

Note: If a secret is detected in a public repository on and the secret also matches a partner pattern, an alert is generated and the potential secret is reported to the service provider. For details of partner patterns, see "Secret scanning patterns."

Configuring notifications for secret scanning alerts

When a new secret is detected, GitHub Enterprise Cloud notifies all users with access to security alerts for the repository according to their notification preferences. You will receive an email notification if:

  • you are watching the repository.
  • you have enabled notifications for "All Activity", or for custom "Security alerts" on the repository.
  • in your notification settings, under "Subscriptions", then under "Watching", you have selected to receive notifications by email.

You will also be notified if you are the author of the commit that contains the secret and you are not ignoring the repository.

  1. On, navigate to the main page of the repository.

  2. To start watching the repository, select Watch.

    Screenshot of the repository's main page. A dropdown menu, titled "Watch", is highlighted with an orange outline.

  3. In the dropdown menu, click All Activity. Alternatively, to only subscribe to security alerts, click Custom, then click Security alerts.

  4. Navigate to the notification settings for your personal account. These are available at

  5. On your notification settings page, under "Subscriptions", then under "Watching", select the Notify me dropdown.

  6. Select "Email" as a notification option, then click Save.

    Screenshot of the notification settings for a user account. An element header, titled "Subscriptions", and a sub-header, titled "Watching", are shown. A checkbox, titled "Email", is highlighted with an orange outline.

For more information, see "Managing security and analysis settings for your repository" and "Configuring your watch settings for an individual repository."

Auditing responses to secret scanning alerts

You can audit the actions taken in response to secret scanning alerts using GitHub tools. For more information, see "Auditing security alerts."