Java package scanning

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Software vulnerabilities are weaknesses that can cause an accidental system failure or provide bad actors a means to compromise your software. To help you identify vulnerabilities and mitigate risk, Container Analysis provides two types of Java(Maven) package scanning:

  • The On-Demand Scanning API allows you to manually scan container images for vulnerabilities in Java packages, either locally on your computer or remotely in Container Registry or Artifact Registry.

  • The Container Scanning API allows you to automatically scan Java application packages each time you push an image to Artifact Registry (Preview).

See pricing to learn more about the costs associated with scanning container images.

Vulnerability sources

Container Analysis supports Java vulnerability scanning for Maven packages within a container image. The vulnerability data is obtained from the GitHub Advisory Database.

Supported versions

Container Analysis supports Maven packages that follow the Maven naming conventions. If the package version includes spaces, it won't be scanned.

Severity levels for vulnerabilities

Container Analysis uses the following severity levels:

  • Critical
  • High
  • Medium
  • Low
  • Minimal

The severity levels are qualitative labels that reflect factors such as exploitability, scope, impact, and maturity of the vulnerability. For example, if a vulnerability enables a remote user to easily access a system and run arbitrary code without authentication or user interaction, that vulnerability would be classified as Critical.

Two types of severity are associated with each vulnerability:

  • Effective severity - Depending on the vulnerability type:
    • OS packages - The severity level assigned by the Linux distribution maintainer. If these severity levels are unavailable, Container Analysis uses the severity value from the note provider, (NVD). If NVD's CVSS v2 rating is unavailable, Container Analysis uses the CVSS v3 rating from NVD.
    • Language packages - The severity level assigned by the GitHub Advisory Database, with a slight difference: Moderate is reported as Medium.
  • CVSS score - The Common Vulnerability Scoring System score and associated severity level, with two scoring versions:
    • CVSS 2.0 - Available when using the API, the Google Cloud CLI, and the GUI.
    • CVSS 3.1 - Available when using the API and the gcloud CLI.

For a given vulnerability, the severity derived from a calculated CVSS score might not match the effective severity. You can determine the vulnerability score relevant for your project.

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