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About secret scanning

GitHub Enterprise Server scans repositories for known types of secrets, to prevent fraudulent use of secrets that were committed accidentally.

Secret scanning is available for organization-owned repositories in GitHub Enterprise Server if your enterprise has a license for GitHub Advanced Security. For more information, see "GitHub's products."

Note: Your site administrator must enable secret scanning for your GitHub Enterprise Server instance before you can use this feature. For more information, see "Configuring secret scanning for your appliance."

About secret scanning

If your project communicates with an external service, you might use a token or private key for authentication. Tokens and private keys are examples of secrets that a service provider can issue. If you check a secret into a repository, anyone who has read access to the repository can use the secret to access the external service with your privileges. We recommend that you store secrets in a dedicated, secure location outside of the repository for your project.

Secret scanning will scan your entire Git history on all branches present in your GitHub repository for any secrets. Service providers can partner with GitHub to provide their secret formats for scanning. For details of the supported secrets and service providers, see "Secret scanning partners."

To find out about our partner program, see "Secret scanning partner program" in the GitHub Enterprise Cloud documentation

About secret scanning on GitHub Enterprise Server

Secret scanning is available on all organization-owned repositories as part of GitHub Advanced Security. It is not available on user-owned repositories.

If you're a repository administrator or an organization owner, you can enable secret scanning for repositories that are owned by organizations. You can enable secret scanning for all your organization's repositories, or for all new repositories within your organization. For more information, see "Managing security and analysis settings for your repository" and "Managing security and analysis settings for your organization."

You can also define custom secret scanning patterns for a repository, organization, or enterprise. For more information, see "Defining custom patterns for secret scanning."

About secret scanning alerts

When you push commits to a repository with secret scanning enabled, GitHub scans the contents of the commits for secrets.

When secret scanning detects a secret in a repository, GitHub generates an alert.

  • GitHub sends an email alert to the repository administrators and organization owners.

  • GitHub sends an email alert to the contributor who committed the secret to the repository, with a link to the related secret scanning alert. The commit author can then view the alert in the repository, and resolve the alert.

  • GitHub displays an alert in the repository.

For more information about viewing and resolving secret scanning alerts, see "Managing alerts from secret scanning."

Repository administrators and organization owners can grant users and teams access to secret scanning alerts. For more information, see "Managing security and analysis settings for your repository."

You can use the security overview to see an organization-level view of which repositories have enabled secret scanning and the alerts found. For more information, see "Viewing the security overview." You can also use the REST API to monitor results from secret scanning across your repositories or your organization. For more information about API endpoints, see "Secret scanning."

Further reading