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    March 2023

    Semgrep OSS Engine

    This section of release notes include upgrades of Semgrep OSS Engine for versions ranging between 1.14.0 and 1.16.0.


    • Kotlin: Semgrep OSS Engine now supports typed metavariables in Kotlin. For example, to find all instances of a string type, you can now use the following rule pattern: ($X : String)

    • Scala: Semgrep can now parse programs that contain quoted expressions, context parameter clauses that use the using function, and soft modifiers like inline and open.

      Semgrep can now parse and analyze Scala code that contains matches on types, such as:

      type t = K match {
      case Int => String
    • metavariable-comparison: Added support for bitwise operators ~, &, |, and ^.

    • taint-mode: The latest update to pattern-propagators in Semgrep OSS Engine introduces two optional fields requires and label, that work identically to their counterparts in pattern-sources and pattern-sinks. These fields are part of the experimental taint labels feature for taint analysis.

      For instance, we can define:

      - pattern: |
      from: $FROM
      to: $TO
      requires: A
      replace-labels: [A, C]
      label: B

      This propagator only propagates if the source $FROM has taint label A. Additionally, any taints from $TO with labels A or C are converted to have label B.

      If you don't specify a label, the target $TO is tainted with the same label as the taint on $FROM. If you don't specify a requires field, the propagator does not require the source to have a specific taint label.

      Note that the replace-labels field only restricts the label being propagated if you also specify the label output.


    • Semgrep’s CLI output has been revamped to better organize scan information and provide more context about scans and findings. Previously, CLI output was minimal without much formatting. With this release, Semgrep CLI now provides headers, tables, scan summaries, and updated, granular data about individual findings and the project it is scanning.

      release-notes-march2023-cli-output-old.png Figure 1. Old Semgrep CLI output.

      release-notes-march2023-cli-output-new.png Figure 2. New Semgrep CLI output.

    • The latest update tosemgrep/semgrep Docker images removes the custom entry point that was previously used to invoke Semgrep. As a result, you must now explicitly call semgrep when running the image. This change was already made approximately a year ago. In this update, the backward compatibility layer and a deprecation notice have been removed.

      Previously, you could scan your code using the semgrep/semgrep image by running the following command:

      docker run -v $(pwd):/src semgrep/semgrep scan ...

      However, this command no longer works. Instead, you must use the following command to achieve the same result:

      docker run -v $(pwd):/src semgrep/semgrep semgrep scan ...

      By removing the custom entry point, this update provides greater flexibility and consistency in how Semgrep is invoked within Docker containers.

    • taint-mode: Previously, Semgrep OSS Engine taint analysis sometimes flagged sinks that did not propagate taint. For example, the sink(ok if tainted else ok) was flagged. To address this, we've made taint analysis more precise. Now, sinks like sink(...) where you declare that any argument of a given function is a sink. For example:

      - patterns:
      - pattern: sink($X, ...)
      - focus-metavariable: $X

      As a result, sink(ok1 if tainted else ok2), sink(not_a_propagator(tainted)), and sink(some_array[tainted]), are not be reported as findings.

    • The -gitlab-sast and -gitlab-secrets output formats have been upgraded. The output is now valid with the GitLab v15 schema, while staying valid with the GitLab v14 schema as well. Code findings now include the confidence of the rule.

    Semgrep Code


    • Pro Engine beta toggle is enabled by default in the Semgrep Editor and Semgrep Playground. Rules can still run with the Semgrep OSS Engine if interfile: true is not specified in the rule.
    • Findings from Pro rules or Semgrep Pro Engine are now labeled with a gem icon to let you know where the finding has come from. semgrep-code-findings-pro-rule-gem.png

    Semgrep Pro Engine


    • Previously, when installing Semgrep Pro Engine, Semgrep CLI downloaded the most recently released version of Semgrep Pro Engine. As a consequence, this version of Semgrep Pro Engine might not have been the most compatible version with Semgrep OSS Engine. With this update, the most compatible version of Semgrep Pro Engine with Semgrep OSS Engine is downloaded during the installation.

      This behavior is only supported for Semgrep version 1.12.1 and later. Previous versions still download the most recently released version, as before.

    • taint-mode: Semgrep Pro Engine’s taint analysis capabilities for Java now include support for basic field sensitivity through getters and setters. If you call obj.setX(tainted), Semgrep can now identify that a subsequent call to obj.getX() will carry the same taint as tainted. Moreover, Semgrep can differentiate between different fields accessed by the getters and setters, such as obj.getX() and obj.getY().

      It's important to note that Semgrep Pro Engine doesn't examine the definitions of the getter and setter methods, and it doesn't know whether other methods like obj.clearX() clear the taint that obj.setX(tainted) adds. Nonetheless, this new feature enables Semgrep to detect vulnerabilities more accurately in tainted data flow in Java code.


    • CI scans that use Semgrep Pro Engine now run intrafile and cross-function (interprocedural) taint analysis by default in differential scans (such as PR or MR scans). Note that cross-file (interfile) analysis is not run in differential scans for performance reasons.

    Semgrep Cloud Platform


    • For organizations with role-based access control (RBAC) enabled, members are now able to log in through the CLI and send findings data from their local machine to the Semgrep Cloud Platform.

    Semgrep Supply Chain


    • You can now receive Semgrep Supply Chain notifications in your Slack channel. Be notified of reachable vulnerabilities as soon as a scan finishes. Sign in to Semgrep Cloud Platform and click Settings > Integrations > Add integration > Slack and follow the instructions to start setting up your Slack notifications.


    • Previously, Semgrep Supply Chain used go.sum files to read Go dependencies. Semgrep Supply Chain now uses go.mod files.
    • Supply Chain findings now include the exposure type. Exposure types can be any of the following values:
      • Reachable — this type of exposure means that the finding has detected a vulnerable dependency and the vulnerable code is used in your codebase. Additionally, the inclusion of certain severely vulnerable packages such as log4j is also categorized as a reachable exposure even without the vulnerable code’s usage within your codebase.
      • Unreachable — this type of exposure means that the finding has detected a vulnerable dependency but the vulnerable code is not used in your codebase.
      • Undetermined — Reachability analysis has not been performed on this finding, therefore its exposure is undetermined.
    • Historical rules (also known as parity rules) are now enabled by default for new personal and organizational accounts. Existing organizations can reach out to to enable parity rules by default.
    • Semgrep Supply Chain scans now understand maven_dep_tree.txt files that are made of multiple smaller maven_dep_tree.txt files concatenated withcat. To make use of this functionality, create a script or command using the cat command as a step in your CI pipeline.




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