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Poutine: Open-Source GitHub Security Scanner Could Be Great Value-Add

In the world of software development, security is paramount. With the increasing complexity of continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) pipelines, the risk of misconfigurations and security vulnerabilities has surged. This is where Poutine, an open-source security scanner, steps in to bring peace of mind to developers and organizations.

two people eating poutine with plastic knives

Created by, Poutine is designed to detect misconfigurations and vulnerabilities in the build pipelines of repositories on GitHub and GitLab. It's a tool that parses CI workflows and, when provided with a read-level access token, can analyze all the repositories of an organization. This capability allows for a comprehensive insight into the security posture of an organization's software supply chain.


One of the key benefits of Poutine is its simplicity in usage. Installation is straightforward: users can download the latest release and add the binary to their system's PATH. Alternatively, Poutine can be installed via Homebrew or run using Docker. For those integrating it into GitHub Actions, Poutine can be configured as a step within the workflow, ensuring that security checks are an integral part of the CI/CD process.


Poutine's effectiveness lies in its ability to perform a shallow and sparse Git checkout, targeting only the relevant files, which makes it incredibly efficient even for large repositories. This efficiency is crucial for organizations with hundreds of repositories, enabling them to scan through their entire codebase in minutes, not hours.

Kitchen tool pairing knife blue handle

The tool currently supports a dozen rules covering vulnerabilities found in GitHub Actions workflows and Gitlab pipelines. Among the most critical vulnerabilities that Poutine can detect are Injections with Arbitrary External Contributor Input and Arbitrary Code Execution from Untrusted Code Changes. These are serious security risks that, if left unchecked, could lead to significant breaches.


Looking ahead, the creators of Poutine have ambitious plans for the tool's roadmap. They aim to extend support to other CI/CD platforms such as CircleCI and Azure Pipelines. This expansion will undoubtedly make Poutine an even more versatile and indispensable tool in the arsenal of developers and security professionals.


In conclusion, Poutine represents a significant step forward in securing CI/CD pipelines. Its ease of use, efficiency, and the proactive approach to detecting vulnerabilities make it a valuable asset. As the tool evolves and expands its capabilities, it's poised to become a standard in open-source security scanning.


For those interested in implementing Poutine in their workflow or contributing to its development, the source code is available under the Apache 2.0 license on GitHub. With its community-driven approach, Poutine is not just a security tool; it's a movement towards more secure and reliable software development practices.


If your organization would like to have Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)-level guidance regarding the build-out or improvement of a secure development life cycle, DevSecOps model adjustments to match leading practices, or general security program assessments or improvements, contact Webcheck Security today for a free discussion of how our organization can best help you accomplish your security objectives.

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