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Managing code scanning alerts for your repository

From the security view, you can view, fix, or dismiss alerts for potential vulnerabilities or errors in your project's code.

Who can use this feature

If you have write permission to a repository you can manage code scanning alerts for that repository.

Code scanning is available for organization-owned repositories in GitHub Enterprise Server. This feature requires a license for GitHub Advanced Security. For more information, see "About GitHub Advanced Security."

Viewing the alerts for a repository

Anyone with read permission for a repository can see code scanning annotations on pull requests. For more information, see "Triaging code scanning alerts in pull requests."

You need write permission to view a summary of all the alerts for a repository on the Security tab.

By default, the code scanning alerts page is filtered to show alerts for the default branch of the repository only.

  1. On your GitHub Enterprise Server instance, navigate to the main page of the repository.

  2. Under your repository name, click Security. Security tab

  3. In the left sidebar, click Code scanning alerts. "Code scanning alerts" tab

  4. Optionally, use the free text search box or the drop-down menus to filter alerts. For example, you can filter by the tool that was used to identify alerts. Filter by tool

  5. Under "Code scanning," click the alert you'd like to explore. Summary of alerts

    The status and details on the alert page only reflect the state of the alert on the default branch of the repository, even if the alert exists in other branches. You can see the status of the alert on non-default branches in the Affected branches section on the right-hand side of the alert page. If an alert doesn't exist in the default branch, the status of the alert will display as "in pull request" or "in branch" and will be colored grey. The "Affected branches" section in an alert

  6. Optionally, if the alert highlights a problem with data flow, click Show paths to display the path from the data source to the sink where it's used.

    The "Show paths" link on an alert

  7. Alerts from CodeQL analysis include a description of the problem. Click Show more for guidance on how to fix your code. Details for an alert

For more information, see "About code scanning alerts."

Note: For code scanning analysis with CodeQL, you can see information about the latest run in a header at the top of the list of code scanning alerts for the repository.

For example, you can see when the last scan ran, the number of lines of code analyzed compared to the total number of lines of code in your repository, and the total number of alerts that were generated. UI banner

Filtering code scanning alerts

You can filter the alerts shown in the code scanning alerts view. This is useful if there are many alerts as you can focus on a particular type of alert. There are some predefined filters and a range of keywords that you can use to refine the list of alerts displayed.

  • To use a predefined filter, click Filters, or a filter shown in the header of the list of alerts, and choose a filter from the drop-down list. Predefined filters
  • To use a keyword, either type directly in the filters text box, or:
    1. Click in the filters text box to show a list of all available filter keywords.
    2. Click the keyword you want to use and then choose a value from the drop-down list. Keyword filters list

The benefit of using keyword filters is that only values with results are shown in the drop-down lists. This makes it easy to avoid setting filters that find no results.

If you enter multiple filters, the view will show alerts matching all these filters. For example, is:closed severity:high branch:main will only display closed high-severity alerts that are present on the main branch. The exception is filters relating to refs (ref, branch and pr): is:open branch:main branch:next will show you open alerts from both the main branch and the next branch.

Please note that if you have filtered for alerts on a non-default branch, but the same alerts exist on the default branch, the alert page for any given alert will still only reflect the alert's status on the default branch, even if that status conflicts with the status on a non-default branch. For example, an alert that appears in the "Open" list in the summary of alerts for branch-x could show a status of "Fixed" on the alert page, if the alert is already fixed on the default branch. You can view the status of the alert for the branch you filtered on in the Affected branches section on the right side of the alert page.

You can prefix the tag filter with - to exclude results with that tag. For example, -tag:style only shows alerts that do not have the style tag.

Restricting results to application code only

You can use the "Only alerts in application code" filter or autofilter:true keyword and value to restrict results to alerts in application code. See "About labels for alerts not in application code" above for more information about the types of code that are not application code.

Searching code scanning alerts

You can search the list of alerts. This is useful if there is a large number of alerts in your repository, or if you don't know the exact name for an alert for example. GitHub Enterprise Server performs the free text search across:

  • The name of the alert

  • The alert details (this also includes the information hidden from view by default in the Show more collapsible section)

    The alert information used in searches

Supported searchSyntax exampleResults
Single word searchinjectionReturns all the alerts containing the word injection
Multiple word searchsql injectionReturns all the alerts containing sql or injection
Exact match search
(use double quotes)
"sql injection"Returns all the alerts containing the exact phrase sql injection
OR searchsql OR injectionReturns all the alerts containing sql or injection
AND searchsql AND injectionReturns all the alerts containing both words sql and injection

Tips:

  • The multiple word search is equivalent to an OR search.
  • The AND search will return results where the search terms are found anywhere, in any order in the alert name or details.
  1. On your GitHub Enterprise Server instance, navigate to the main page of the repository.
  2. Under your repository name, click Security. Security tab
  3. In the left sidebar, click Code scanning alerts. "Code scanning alerts" tab
  4. To the right of the Filters drop-down menus, type the keywords to search for in the free text search box. The free text search box
  5. Press return. The alert listing will contain the open code scanning alerts matching your search criteria.

Fixing an alert

Anyone with write permission for a repository can fix an alert by committing a correction to the code. If the repository has code scanning scheduled to run on pull requests, it's best to raise a pull request with your correction. This will trigger code scanning analysis of the changes and test that your fix doesn't introduce any new problems. For more information, see "Configuring code scanning" and "Triaging code scanning alerts in pull requests."

If you have write permission for a repository, you can view fixed alerts by viewing the summary of alerts and clicking Closed. For more information, see "Viewing the alerts for a repository." The "Closed" list shows fixed alerts and alerts that users have dismissed.

You can use the free text search or the filters to display a subset of alerts and then in turn mark all matching alerts as closed.

Alerts may be fixed in one branch but not in another. You can use the "Branch" filter, on the summary of alerts, to check whether an alert is fixed in a particular branch.

Filtering alerts by branch

Please note that if you have filtered for alerts on a non-default branch, but the same alerts exist on the default branch, the alert page for any given alert will still only reflect the alert's status on the default branch, even if that status conflicts with the status on a non-default branch. For example, an alert that appears in the "Open" list in the summary of alerts for branch-x could show a status of "Fixed" on the alert page, if the alert is already fixed on the default branch. You can view the status of the alert for the branch you filtered on in the Affected branches section on the right side of the alert page.

Note: If you run code scanning using multiple configurations, then sometimes an alert will have multiple analysis origins. Unless you run all configurations regularly, you may see alerts that are fixed in one analysis origin but not in another. For more information, see "About analysis origins."

Dismissing alerts

There are two ways of closing an alert. You can fix the problem in the code, or you can dismiss the alert.

Dismissing an alert is a way of closing an alert that you don't think needs to be fixed. For example, an error in code that's used only for testing, or when the effort of fixing the error is greater than the potential benefit of improving the code. You can dismiss alerts from code scanning annotations in code, or from the summary list within the Security tab.

When you dismiss an alert:

  • It's dismissed in all branches.
  • The alert is removed from the number of current alerts for your project.
  • The alert is moved to the "Closed" list in the summary of alerts, from where you can reopen it, if required.
  • The reason why you closed the alert is recorded.
  • Optionally, you can comment on a dismissal to record the context of an alert dismissal.
  • Next time code scanning runs, the same code won't generate an alert.

To dismiss alerts:

  1. On your GitHub Enterprise Server instance, navigate to the main page of the repository.

  2. Under your repository name, click Security. Security tab

  3. In the left sidebar, click Code scanning alerts. "Code scanning alerts" tab

  4. If you want to dismiss an alert, it's important to explore the alert first, so that you can choose the correct dismissal reason. Click the alert you'd like to explore. Open an alert from the summary list

  5. Review the alert, then click Dismiss alert and choose, or type, a reason for closing the alert. Screenshot of code scanning alert with dropdown to choose dismissal reason emphasized It's important to choose the appropriate reason from the drop-down menu as this may affect whether a query continues to be included in future analysis. Optionally, you can comment on a dismissal to record the context of an alert dismissal. The dismissal comment is added to the alert timeline and can be used as justification during auditing and reporting. You can retrieve or set a comment by using the code scanning REST API. The comment is contained in dismissed_comment for the alerts/{alert_number} endpoint. For more information, see "Code Scanning."

    If you dismiss a CodeQL alert as a false positive result, for example because the code uses a sanitization library that isn't supported, consider contributing to the CodeQL repository and improving the analysis. For more information about CodeQL, see "Contributing to CodeQL."

Dismissing multiple alerts at once

If a project has multiple alerts that you want to dismiss for the same reason, you can bulk dismiss them from the summary of alerts. Typically, you'll want to filter the list and then dismiss all of the matching alerts. For example, you might want to dismiss all of the current alerts in the project that have been tagged for a particular Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE) vulnerability.

Further reading