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m9sweeper is a free and easy kubernetes security platform. It integrates industry standard open source utilities into a one-stop-shop kubernetes security tool.

Why m9sweeper

Today, technology is relied upon for the goods and services we need.

Everything from agriculture to transportation to good and services is orchestrated through information systems. And increasingly, these information systems are deployed using kubernetes.

Kubernetes is a wonderful tool, but few administrators know much about kubernetes security

And even in organizations where its administrators have learned about kubernetes security, few administrators are given adequate time to secure their clusters.

m9sweeper makes this easy by giving you a solid platform for securing your kubernetes cluster.

The learning curve is low. The tools it uses are rock-solid and endorsed by the Linux Foundation. All are even covered by the CKS (Certified Kubernetes Security) examination, which tests ones knowledge of how to secure a kubernetes cluster. m9sweeper makes kubernetes security finally accessible (and free!) for every kubernetes administrator.

Getting Started

The easiest way to get started is you can go to our easy install tutorial.


Intelletive Consulting is the official maintainer of the project. It is actively maintained and patched by them, free of charge. They also offer enterprise support of the product, which could include everything from customer feature development, bugfixing, security analysis', as well as support and implementation of the m9sweeper product.

Bug Reporting

If you find bugs or issues, please report them to use on github.


m9sweeper makes it easy to orchestrate the implementation of a number of free security tools:

Trivy: CVE Scanner

Kubesec: Deployment Best Practices

kube-bench: CIS Benchmarks

OPA Gatekeeper: Compliance and Security Policies

kube-hunter: Cluster Penetration Testing

Project Falco: Intrusion Detection (Coming Soon)

1 - License

Apache License 2.0

m9sweeper is licensed under the Apache License 2.0.

It was originally produced by Intelletive Consulting, owned by Jacob Beasley and Jason Woodman. Once feature complete, we chose to open source instead of selling it as a licensed product because we saw a huge need for the product and were deeply passionate about open source.

While the software is open source, but we do offer professional services for enterprises. This is ultimately how we fund ongoing support and maintenance for the product. Please contact us if you want information about a professional support contract. A support contract can include professional installation, support, monitoring, managed upgrades, and even coordinating security fixes and remediation in your environment. We also are available, at times, to do Kubernetes DevOps work.

We have released several open source products, including:

2 - Overview

What is it?

m9sweeper is an app for securing your kubernetes cluster. It does so by orchestrating a number of kubernetes security capabilities:

  • CVE Scanning with Trivy
  • Compliance with Gatekeeper
  • CIS Benchmarking with kube-bench
  • Pen Testing with kube-hunter
  • Secure Deployments with Kubesec
  • Intrusion Detection with Project Falco (Coming Soon)

If you are a beginner or experienced administrator, m9sweeper is a one-stop-shop to secure a kubernetes environment in a matter of hours, not days or weeks, as well as to continue to assess and report on your kubernetes security posture.

Why do I want it?

If you deploy apps on kubernetes, you should absolutely be making sure you are doing so securely.

m9sweeper makes it extremely easy to deploy and scan your cluster and its applications. It is the cheapest and fastest way to understand your security posture, and it walks you through securing a cluster step-by-step.

Where should I go next?

We recommend you proceed to the getting started guide.

3 - Getting Started

M9sweeper deploys as an app in your Kubernetes cluster. We like to say that is Kubernetes-native; that is to say, you can deploy it entirely inside of kubernetes. You do not need to install complicated applications in your Kubernetes nodes. This makes it very safe and easy to install.


It also can be installed in a hub-and-spoke way, with a single m9sweeper install monitoring multiple kubernetes clusters. This requires that you ingress traffic to m9sweeper, and is preferred if you have a lot of kubernetes clusters.


There are 2 ways to get started:

  • Easy Install Guide - If you do not want a step-by-step wizard but still want to get it booted up with largely the defaults, start here.
  • Advanced Install Guide - This covers all the options short of reviewing the reference materials.

3.1 - Easy Install

Install m9sweeper with a one-liner.

You can install m9sweeper using our helm chart. This is a one-line cli command that installs m9sweeper. Change the default username/password to your own username/password and the API Key to something random/unpredictable.

helm repo add m9sweeper && \
helm repo update && \
helm upgrade m9sweeper m9sweeper/m9sweeper --install --wait --create-namespace --namespace m9sweeper-system \
  --set-string dash.init.superAdminEmail="" \
  --set-string dash.init.superAdminPassword="password" \
  --set-string global.jwtSecret="changeme" \
  --set-string global.apiKey="YOUR-API-KEY"

Many more options are available. For serious enterprise deployments, we recommend creating a helm values.yaml file and versioning this in a code repository to make upgrades easier.

For more information, please see the advanced installation guide.

3.2 - Advanced Install

Full list of installation options using m9sweeper’s helm chart.



We recommend putting your configuration in a values.yaml file and then deploying our app using helm. This example uses “helm upgrade –install”, which is an idempotent way of installing and/or upgrading the app. This is repeatable and the same command can be run regardless of whether you intend to upgrade or install the app.

helm repo add m9sweeper && \
helm repo update && \
helm upgrade m9sweeper m9sweeper/m9sweeper --install --wait --create-namespace --namespace m9sweeper-system \
  --values values.yaml --version latest

When implementing for our customers we automate this in a CICD pipeline. Upgrades can be done simply by changing which chart version you are deploying. By default, it installs the latest version, but you can add –version to install a specific version of m9sweeper.

At a minimum, you MUST specify these 4 values:

--set-string dash.init.superAdminEmail=""
--set-string dash.init.superAdminPassword="password"
--set-string global.jwtSecret="changeme" \
--set-string global.apiKey="YOUR-API-KEY"

Validating Webhook

If you wish to have m9sweeper prevent applications from booting up that are not compliant with your specified policies, you will need the validating webhook. This installs automatically and should work without any configuration in most installations.

However, in some installations of Kubernetes such as Azure Kubernetes Services (AKS) and Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) as well as some others depending upon configuration, the kubernetes' API is not allowed to reach out to a remote cluster or a remote ingress when validating whether a pod is allowed to boot or not. Therefore, we have to set it up to connect to a pod in the local cluster as well as setup the appropriate Certificate Authority, Public, and Private Keys to enable SSL. This will allow the validating webhook to be hit by the Kubernetes API when validating whether a pod is compliant and allowed to boot up. To assist in this process we have developed a script that will install a nginx reverse proxy that will allow your kubernetes API to reach the validating webhook. For information on utilizing this script, please see the scripts documentation on our GitHub page here.

Falco bulkhead Deployment

Depending on your environment, Falco can send an immense amount of alerts to M9sweeper. This could overload the application and cause it to crash. To avoid this, there is an option to deploy multiple instances of M9sweeper that only take api requests sent to /api/falco.

  bulkhead: true
  replicas: 1

When set to true, this will create a seperate deployment appended with “-falco”, a service, and when applicable, a service monitor. This also edits ingress, routing all API calls from Falco, into the bulkhead deployment.

Configuration Options

If postgresql is enabled, then it will deploy postgres db. Set to false to use an external postgres DB

  enabled: true

If rabbitmq is enabled, then it will deploy rabbitmq. Set to false to use an external rabbitmq.

  enabled: true

The following table lists the configurable parameters of the chart and the default values.

Parameter Description Default
postgresql properties postgresql hostname minesweeper-postgres
global.postgres.username postgresql username postgres
global.postgres.password postgresql password postgres
global.postgres.database postgresql database postgres
global.postgres.port postgresql port 5432
rabbitmq properties rabbitmq hostname minesweeper-rabbitmq
global.rabbitmq.port rabbitmq port 5672
global.rabbitmq.username rabbitmq username guest
global.rabbitmq.password rabbitmq password guest
global.rabbitmq.queueName rabbitmq queue name trawler_queue
global.jwtSecret Provide a secret string that will be used to sign JWT tokens asdfasdfasd
global.baseUrl URL will be used in email templates to reference a http link to Dash localhost:3000
global.apiKey Provide a secret string that will be the default api key used for integrations 1234567890
global.trawlerApiKey Provide a secret string that will be the default api key for trawler 1234567890
global.kubeBenchApiKey Provide a secret string that will be the default kube-bench api key 1234567890
global.kubeHunterApiKey Provide a secret string that will be the default kube-hunter api key 1234567890
global.falcoApiKey Provide a secret string that will be the default falco API key 1234567890
Dash Properties
dash.image.registry Registry for Dash Helm chart
dash.image.repository Repository for Dash Helm chart m9sweeper/dash
dash.image.tag Tag for Dash Helm chart latest
values that will be used to initialize the Dash database during installation
dash.init.clusterGroupName Dash Init clusterGroupName default-cluster-group
dash.init.clusterName Dash Init clusterName default-cluster
dash.init.superAdminEmail Dash Init superAdminEmail
dash.init.superAdminPassword Dash Init superAdminPassword superadmin4me
dash.init.licenseKey Dash Init licenseKey for permission to run project ``
dash.init.instanceKey Dash Init instanceKey for permission to run project `` Dash Init Registry Name ``
dash.init.docker.registries.hostname Dash Init Registry Hostname ``
dash.init.docker.registries.login_required Dash Init login_required ``
dash.init.docker.registries.username Dash Init Registry Username ``
dash.init.docker.registries.password Dash Init password ``
Trawler Configuration
trawler.image.registry Registry for Trawler Helm chart
trawler.image.repository Repository for Trawler Helm chart m9sweeper/trawler
trawler.image.tag Tag for Trawler Helm chart latest
Dash Email Properties Email method options are SMTP or SENDGRID SMTP Choose smtp host localhost Choose smtp port 465 Choose smtp tls authentication required or not true Choose smtp username smtp Choose smtp password smtp Choose email sendgridApiKey '' Choose email senderEmail `` Enable/disable system error email notifications false The email address to send system error emails to ``
Dash Ingress Properties
dash.ingress.hosts Add lists of hosts ``
dash.ingress.path Add backend endpoint path /
dash.ingress.k8sIngress.enabled Set true to enable nginx ingress false
dash.ingress.k8sIngress.annotations Add annotations for nginx ingress nginx
dash.ingress.k8sIngress.tls.secretName K8s secret where certificate is stored tls-secret
dash.ingress.k8sIngress.tls.hosts Write hostname for apply tls ``
Istio Config - VirtualService, DestinationRule, Gateway (optional), PeerAuthentication (optional)
dash.ingress.istio.enabled Set true to enable Istio or false to disable false
dash.ingress.istio.gateways.create Set true to enable create istio gateways false
dash.ingress.istio.gateways.gatewayRefs Provide name to create istio gateway istio-system/example
dash.ingress.istio.loadBalancerType Write name of loadBalancerType ROUND_ROBIN
dash.ingress.istio.mtlsMode Set mtls mode, options are: PERMISSIVE or STRICT PERMISSIVE

4 - Concepts

How to use M9sweeper

4.1 - Image Scanning

Using Trivy to scan images for CVEs and other issues.

Trivy is one of the best tools for scanning Kubernetes images, and m9sweeper can coordinate scanning images deployed to your cluster, rescanning of those images, as well as blocking images from deploying if they do not meet your minimum criteria for compliance.

M9sweeper also allows you to create exceptions or have your employees' request exceptions be approved when they do not have the time to fix an issue in the moment but still want to allow applications to deploy.

For a full list of trawler configuration options, see the trawler reference guide

4.1.1 - Automating Scanning

How to automatically scan your images.

By default, m9sweeper will scan all images that it sees deployed in your cluster that have not been scanned.

Also, you can configure the Image Rescan Period (Days) when setting up policies to automatically rescan images. This will then rescan any images currently running in your cluster if they have not been scanned in a certain number of days.


4.1.2 - Scanning in CICD Pipelines

Learn how to give developers feedback in your CICD pipelines.

You can automatically scan images using trawler in your automated CICD pipelines. The easiest way to do this is by running trawler from the command line using the container image. It will look something like this.

docker run \
    --env "M9SWEEPER_URL=XXX" \
    --env "M9SWEEPER_API_KEY=XXX" \
    --env "CLUSTER_NAME=XXX" \
    --env "DOCKER_IMAGE_URL=XXX" \
    -it m9sweeper/trawler trawler scan

Note that you will need to provide an API key as well as the name of the cluster you are scanning it for so that it can authenticate with m9sweeper. You will have to run a scan for each cluster you plan to deploy it to because each cluster might have different policies setup.

4.1.3 - Enforcing Compliance

Keeping your cluster safe. - Setting Up Policies

Define how much risk you are willing to tolerate.

Policy Settings

In the organization settings, you can click on policies in the left navigation and configure one or more policies for your cluster. These policies define what criteria an image must meet to be considered compliant in the cluster.

It looks something like this.


Only policies and scanners that are active and required will be used in determing whether an image is compliant. Also, when evaluating an image for a cluster, only policies that are configured for that cluster will be applied.

Configuring Trivy Requirements

When configuring the trivy scanner, you can define the maximum number of vulnerabilities for each category. The defaults that come pre-installed essentially will block any image with a fixable major or critical vulnerability.

../img_3.png - Installing Webhook

Installing the Webhook

In order to have m9sweeper enforce image scanning compliance in your cluster, you need to install a validating webhook in your cluster. This should be done automatically by m9sweeper during the setup process, but if for some reason it was not you can click “Update Kubeconfig” on your cluster’s settings page and run through the setup wizard again to have it install the webhook for you.

../img_1.png - Enabling Enforcement

How to enable enforcement.

To enable enforcement, you need to make your way to the Cluster settings for your cluster and check the box that enables webhook enforcement.


Once checked, anything that is not compliant with the policies you have setup will be prevented from deploying. Note that this only works if you have installed the webhook during the setup process. - Exceptions

How to manage policy exceptions.

Sometimes, for practical reasons, you may need to allow something with a known security issue to continue to be deployed in an environment. You can do this using exceptions.

Creating Exceptions

Your team can create exceptions when the need arises.


Temporary Exceptions

When a new exception is discovered such as through a nightly image rescan, you may want automatically provide teams with a certain amount of time (lets say a week) before it would block their deployments. This can be done through the use of a temporary exception.

To enable this feature, you need to edit the policy that is setup for your cluster(s) and check the box (see below) and set how many days the temporary exceptions should be active.


When new temporary exceptions are created, it will email all of your admins to review and decide what to do. They should notify your software development teams if the issue should be resolved right away and/or change the end date on the exception.

Exception Statuses

Active: Active exceptions are the only exceptions that will be used when validating image compliance, and only if the current date is within the exception’s start and end date.

In Review: When an exception is submitted for review, it will be in this status. It will not be used when validating an image’s compliance, but someone should review to decide whether it is a risk your organization is willing to take.

Inactive: The exception will be ignored when validating image compliance.

Requesting Exceptions

When viewing an image, if a team member who is NOT an admin believes an exception is required, they can request an exception. This exception falls into the In Review status and will not be active, but it does provide a forum for your team to request exceptions and for someone else (such as your security/ops team) to review and approve the exception. They would approve the exception by changing its status to Active.


Exception Types

Exception types are available as options: Policy and Override.

  • Policy: Allow listed policy(s) to be bypassed. When this type is chosen, user should also select scanner(s) and policy(s) for the desired exception.
  • Override: When this type is chosen, user should select an alternate severity level for desired exception.

4.2 - kube-bench

How to use kube-bench with M9sweeper to perform penetration testing.

kube-bench will run a scan of your cluster to compare its configuration against the Center for Internet Security (CIS) benchmarks. This is a good way to check for obvious configuration issues, such as allowing anonymous users. It deploys as an application in your cluster and then accesses the Kubernetes APIs to see how your cluster is configured.

We recommend setting up kube-bench to run as a nightly cron job so that you can see the effect of any changes you make to your cluster.

First, you need to install kube-bench and set it up to upload its results to m9sweeper. To do this, go to kube-bench for your cluster and click on Run Audit in the top right.


Then, you can use the wizard to generate a CLI command that will install kube-bench using our helm chart as a cron job or one-time job in your cluster. It will upload its results back to the API (and you should see an API key in the url).

Note that this will only work IF you have enabled traffic ingressing or otherwise allowed kube-bench to pipe its results back to the m9sweeper dash app.


And then this will display a summary report, like this:


You can click on any line to expand it and see directions for remediation.


4.3 - kube-hunter

How to use kube-hunter with M9sweeper to perform penetration testing.

kube-hunter will run a non-invasive (or invasive, if you want) penetration test of your cluster. It deploys as an application in your cluster and then attempts to explore and see what all it is able to do. It reports back on any concerns that you should be aware of.

We recommend setting up kube-hunter to run as a nightly cron job so that you can see the effect of any changes you make to your cluster.

First, you need to install kube-hunter and set it up to upload its results to m9sweeper. To do this, go to kube-hunter for your cluster and click on Run Audit in the top right.


Then, you can use the wizard to generate a CLI command that will install kube-hunter using our helm chart as a cron job or one-time job in your cluster. It will upload its results back to the API (and you should see an API key in the url).

Note that this will only work IF you have enabled traffic ingressing or otherwise allowed kube-hunter to pipe its results back to the m9sweeper dash app.


And then this will display a summary report, like this:


4.4 - KubeSec

How to use Kubesec with M9sweeper to coach you towards secure pod configuration.

KubeSec coaches you about how to make your deployments more secure. You can find it in the left navigation after selecting a cluster.


To get started, select a pod you want to evaluation and click Run KubeSec.


It will then display a report of your pods' compliance and any improvements that could be made.


4.5 - Gatekeeper

How to use Gatekeeper with M9sweeper to define and enforce rules for things deployed to Kubernetes.

4.5.1 - Getting Started

M9sweeper makes managing Gatekeeper constraints and constraint templates easy!

Gatekeeper is a great tool for creating rules for your Kubernetes cluster. You configure rules using constraint templates and constraints.

Constraint templates, such as this, allow you to define rules using a language called Rego.

kind: ConstraintTemplate
  name: k8srequiredlabels
        kind: K8sRequiredLabels
        # Schema for the `parameters` field
              type: array
                type: string
    - target:
      rego: |
        package k8srequiredlabels

        violation[{"msg": msg, "details": {"missing_labels": missing}}] {
          provided := {label |[label]}
          required := {label | label := input.parameters.labels[_]}
          missing := required - provided
          count(missing) > 0
          msg := sprintf("you must provide labels: %v", [missing])

Constraints are then created to apply these rules to a particular set of kubernetes entities. These constraints can also contain configuration parameters, such as which labels are required (in this example).

kind: K8sRequiredLabels
  name: ns-must-have-gk
    - apiGroups: [""]
      kinds: ["Namespace"]
    labels: ["gatekeeper"]

M9sweeper makes managing your constraint templates and constraints extremely convenient through an easy-to-use user interface.

To get started, you need to install Gatekeeper.

Read more about constraint templates

4.5.2 - Managing Constraints

Using the M9sweeper Interface to Configure Gatekeeper

Managing Constraint Templates

After installing Gatekeeper, your next step is to install constraint templates. You can do this using a CICD pipeline, or if you are new to this you can use the m9sweeper graphical user interface to install Constraint Templates from our library of templates.

First, open the Gatekeeper page for your cluster and click on “+Add More” in the top right.


Then, check the boxes on the constraint templates you want to install and click save changes.


After doing this, you will see the list of constraint templates has been installed.

Managing Constraints

Just installing constraint templates alone does not do anything - you also have to apply these constraint templates to specific workloads / namespaces. This is done through the use of constraints.

If you click on one of your constraint templates, you will be taken to a page that lists all of the constraints created for this constraint template. After doing so, click “+Add More” to create a constraint for this template.


In this user interface, it will let you set which namespaces and type of entity it applies to. Reasonable defaults are typically filled in if you used one of our templates.


If properties can be configured, we will automatically generate a user interface for configuring those properties. You can fill in the required properties.


Do not forget to select whether it is to be in enforcement mode or audit mode. Only enforcement mode is actually enforced - audit mode is purely used for evaluation purposes.


Click save changes and now you should have your constraint created!


4.5.3 - Reviewing Exceptions

M9sweeper extends Gatekeeper through the use of exceptions!

While Gatekeeper constraints can be scoped to specific namespaces or entity types, sometimes you want to create temporary exceptions for a particular namespace that end at a specific date, or sometimes you want to just target a specific workload.

In those cases, you can use our exceptions feature. Our exceptions feature will automatically code-generate rego code nightly, re-evaluating the exceptions every day and taking into account the exception’s status, start date, and end date. These exceptions work just like image compliance exceptions, except they target Gatekeeper constraint templates rather than image scanning rules.

To use them, be sure and pick Gatekeeper as the exception type:


4.5.4 - Reviewing Pod Compliance

M9sweeper makes seeing a pod’s Gatekeeper compliance extremely easy!

To view a pod’s compliance, navigate to your cluster’s list of workloads. Then, click on the namespace you want to review.


Next, it will list all pods in the namespace. Note that it re-populates this list hourly.


If you click on a pod, it will list all images in the pod and those images' own compliance.


If you click on the Gatekeeper icon in the top right, it will tell if you if any violations exist and, if so, what violations exist.


4.6 - Falco

How to install and use Project Falco with M9sweeper to perform runtime security.

What is Falco?

The Falco Project is an open source runtime security tool originally built by Sysdig, Inc.

What does Falco do?

Falco uses system calls to secure and monitor a system, by:

  • Parsing the Linux system calls from the kernel at runtime
  • Asserting the stream against a powerful rules engine
  • Alerting when a rule is violated

For more information, see the Falco Documentation.

Setup and configuration

M9sweeper consumes HTTP requests from Falco in JSON format to present readable information in our UI.

To accomplish this, FalcoSideKick is deployed to give us more control over Falco’s output.

Configuration Notes:

  • Set the config.webhook.address value to your instance of M9sweeper.
  • Depending on how you are deploying M9sweeper, you might need to set config.webhook.checkcert=false.
  • We recommend setting the minimum priority to “error”. For more information see Minimum Priority

Deploy Falco

Add the Helm Chart Repo then install Falco:
helm repo add falcosecurity
helm repo update
helm install falco falcosecurity/falco \
  --wait \
  --create-namespace \
  --namespace falco \
  --set falco.driver.enabled=true \
  --set-string falco.driver.kind=ebpf \
  --set falco.tty=true \
  --set falco.json_output=true \
  --set falco.json_include_output_property=true \
  --set falco.http_output.enabled=true \
  --set-string falco.http_output.url=http://falcosidekick:2801/ \
  --set falcosidekick.enabled=true \
  --set-string falcosidekick.config.webhook.address= 'https://M9SWEEPER/api/falco/CLUSTERID/create/?key=FALCO_API_KEY' \
  --set falcosidekick.config.webhook.checkcert=true \
  --set-string falcosidekick.config.webhook.minimumpriority='error'


  • Make sure to change the URL value to point to your M9sweeper instance as well as enter the CLUSTER_ID of whatever cluster it is supposed to save to.

  • We recommend using the EBPF driver, however, if you have issues please refer to to the installation page. Or you may try to use the kernel driver and set “falco.driver.kind=module” above.

Anomaly Detection:

  • Anomaly instrusion detection plays vital role in protecting networks against malicious activities.
  • It detects unusual behaviors or threats in cloud-native environments with about 100 out-of-the-box security rules.
  • Administrators can set up alert to receive email notification based on specific priority (severity) level(s) and email frequency that fits individual application needs.
  • Simply go to Falco > Settings

Here is an example of Non-authorized container namespace change violation:

rule: change_thread_namespace
desc: an attempt to change a program/thread\'s namespace (commonly done as a part of creating a container) by calling setns.
condition: syscall.type = setns and not in (docker, sysdig, dragent)
output: "Namespace change (setns) by unexpected program ( command=%proc.cmdline"
priority: WARNING

Minimum Priority

Falco Alerts can get very noisy. This option lets you choose which levels of alerts you want to include/exclude. Once set, all rules having a priority more severe than this level will be loaded/run. The default is an empty string and includes all alerts. The order is as follows:

  • Emergency
  • Alert
  • Critical
  • Error
  • Warning
  • Notice
  • Info
  • Debug

For more information on Priority please refer to Falco Docs - Priorities

4.7 - Single Sign-On

How to configure login methods using SSO.

M9sweeper supports user configurable single sign-on using both OAuth2 and LDAP.

4.7.1 - OAuth2 Login

How to configure user login using OAuth2

M9sweeper supports using OAuth2 to authenticate, and has been tested with Google and Microsoft Azure AD. To add one of these login methods, go to “Organization Settings” > “Sign on Methods” and select “Add External Auth Configuration.” Then select the OAUTH2 Auth Type. After, select your desired implementation from the Provider Type dropdown, with implementation details found below.

Make sure to give the sign-on method a unique name. Note that the Auth Name selected will be what users see when selecting a login method.

Google Oauth2

Using Google OAuth requires first setting up credentials through Google’s cloud platform console. Instructions on setting up necessary credentials can be found through Google’s official docs. When setting up credentials for M9sweeper, be sure to select the “Web Application” application type.

After creating your credentials, you will need to take the Client ID and Client Secret values generated by Google and add them to their respective fields in the configuration form.


Access Token Uri and Authorization Uri

These fields refer to the endpoints which the app will reach out to during the authorization process. They are automatically filled with the default values used by Google, and you should not need to modify them yourself.

Access Scopes

A comma separated list of the fields the app will request access to when querying data from a user. This is automatically filled with the information M9sweeper needs to access, and you should not need to modify it yourself.

Allowed User Domains

A comma separated list of what email domains are allowed access to your M9sweeper instance. This field requires the full domain name following the “@” symbol in your email addresses: for example, enter “” to allow “” to access your M9sweeper instance.

When a user first logs in using OAuth, if they are from an allowed domain they will be granted Read Only access, which you can freely change later on.

If someone attempts to log in using OAuth from a domain not in the allowed list, they will receive an “Access Denied” error.

Microsoft Azure OAuth2

Using Azure OAuth first requires setting up credentials through Microsoft’s Azure portal. Instructions on how to create these credentials can be found in Microsoft’s official docs.

After setting up credentials through Azure, you will need the Client ID for configuration in M9sweeper, added in the Client ID field of the configuration form.


Authorization Uri

The endpoint that M9sweeper will use to authenticate with Microsoft’s OAuth system. This field is automatically filled with the default endpoint, and you should not need to modify it yourself.

Access Scopes

A comma separated list of fields that M9sweeper’s OAuth will request access to. This field is automatically filled and should not need further modification.

Allowed User Domains

A comma separated list of what email domains are allowed access to your M9sweeper instance. This field requires the full domain name following the “@” symbol in your email addresses: for example, enter “” to allow “” to access your M9sweeper instance.

When a user first logs in using OAuth, if they are from an allowed domain they will be granted Read Only access, which you can freely change later on.

If someone attempts to log in using OAuth from a domain not in the allowed list, they will receive an “Access Denied” error.

4.7.2 - LDAP Login

How to configure user login using LDAP

M9sweeper supports user login using LDAP with a configurable implementation. Setting up this login method requires some knowledge of the underlying directory structure, which will be specific to your LDAP implementation.

Initial Configuration Setup

To begin setting up an LDAP server, log into M9sweeper as an admin and go to “Organization Settings” > “Sign on Methods”, then select “Add External Auth Configuration.” From the “Auth Type” dropdown, select “LDAP” to open the configuration menu.


Provider Type

Identifies the type of LDAP system being used to authenticate users. Any value can be entered, to match the LDAP system in use by your organization.

Auth Name

A unique name to identify the sign on method; this will be what users see when selecting a method to log in with.


The URL where the LDAP server can be reached. It should be defined with ldap: as the protocol, such as ldap://

User Search Base

The base Distinguished Name (DN) at which users can be found, consisting of all the ancestor entries of a user entry; so if a specific user would be defined as cn=exampleuser,dc=example,dc=org, the user search base would be dc=example,dc=org. Alternatively, a user defined as uid=anotheruser,ou=users,dc=example,dc=org would have a search base of ou=users,dc=example,dc=org.

Username Attribute

The attribute used to define unique users found at the user search base, this is the field M9sweeper will search by when given a username. For the user cn=exampleuser,dc=example,dc=org the username attribute would be cn, and for uid=anotheruser,ou=users,dc=example,dc=org the attribute would be uid.

Admin DN and Admin Password

The full DN an admin account on the server, along with its password. In order to pull the necessary information from an LDAP server, M9sweeper needs to connect with admin credentials, which are provided here. The admin DN is the full DN of a given user, such as cn=admin,dc=example,dc=org.

Default User Authority

The default permissions given to a user who has a valid account in the LDAP server, but is not part of a group with specific permissions (which will be defined in the following steps). Choosing an authority other than None will allow any member of the organization to log into M9sweeper, with whatever rights are defined. Users part of a group with defined permissions will have those permissions override whatever is set here, even if those permissions are lower.

Setting the default authority as None will cause users that are not part of a group with access permissions to be given an “Access Denied” error upon logging in.

Group User Authority Settings

The following steps go over how to manage user authority through LDAP groups. These steps are optional, in which case you will need to set a default user authority for all users logging in with LDAP, however it is much more secure to define access controls by group.


Group Search Base

The base DN that M9sweeper should look for groups at, defined the same way as the user search base; a group such as cn=usergroup,ou=groups,dc=example,dc=org would have a search base of ou=groups,dc=example,dc=org.

Group Class

The object class that groups are instances of in your LDAP server, such as posixGroup. If not known, you can find this value by searching for groups in your LDAP server and looking for the objectClass attribute of your user groups.

Group Member Attribute

The attribute within a group that defines which users are members of that group. A group defined as follows:

dn: cn=readonlyusers,ou=groups,dc=example,dc=org
memberUid: exampleuser
memberUid: anotheruser
cn: readonlyusers

Referencing users defined as:

dn: uid=exampleuser,dc=example,dc=org
uid: exampleuser
dn: uid=anotheruser,dc=example,dc=org
uid: anotheruser

Would use memberUid as the Group Member Attribute.

Group Member User Attribute

The unique attribute of users which groups reference to establish membership. A group defined as follows:

dn: cn=readonlyusers,ou=groups,dc=example,dc=org
memberUid: exampleuser
memberUid: anotheruser
cn: readonlyusers

Referencing users defined as:

dn: uid=exampleuser,dc=example,dc=org
uid: exampleuser
dn: uid=anotheruser,dc=example,dc=org
uid: anotheruser

Would use uid as the Group Member User Attribute.

Group Auth Level Attribute

The attribute of a group used to define the authority level of a group. Any attribute can be selected, though selecting a unique attribute allows for tighter control of M9sweeper permissions.

Group Auth View Only Value, Group Auth Admin Value, and Group Auth Super Admin Value

These define which values of the previous attribute correspond to which auth level in M9sweeper.

4.8 -

4.8.1 -

5 - Reference

Low level reference docs for the various components.

The app consists of several components. Each is documented below.

5.1 - Dash Parameters

Instructions for configuring dash.

The most common way to configure dash is to simply configure environment variables. Some parameters are only used during the initial installation.

For details about configuring environment variables for the dash app, see the advanced install guide.

Required Parameters

Variable Description Default
SECURITY_JWT_SECRET JWT Secret for signing JWT Tokens (REQUIRED) null
DEFAULT_SUPER_ADMIN_EMAIL Default super admin email to create during installation null
DEFAULT_SUPER_ADMIN_PASSWORD Default super admin password to create during installation null

Complete List of ENV Variables

Server Configuration

Variable Description Default
DEFAULT_SUPER_ADMIN_EMAIL Default super admin email to create during installation null
DEFAULT_SUPER_ADMIN_PASSWORD Default super admin password to create during installation null
SECURITY_JWT_SECRET JWT Secret for signing JWT Tokens (REQUIRED) null
SERVER_NAME Server name (can largely ignore) M9sweeper
SERVER_HOST What network adapter to listen on (defaults to all -
SERVER_PORT What port to listen on 3000
SERVER_BASE_URL Server Base URL for things like links in emails http://localhost:3000/
SERVER_FRONTEND_URL Server Frontend URL for things like links in emails ${SERVER_BASE_URL}

Database Configuration

Variable Description Default
DATABASE_CLIENT Database client (do not change) postgresql
DATABASE_CONNECTION_HOST Database connection host localhost
DATABASE_CONNECTION_PORT Database connection port 5432
DATABASE_CONNECTION_USERNAME Database connection username postgres
DATABASE_CONNECTION_PASSWORD Datbase connection password postgres
DATABASE_POOL_MIN Database connection pool minimum connections 1
DATABASE_POOL_MAX Database connection pool maximum connections 5
DATABASE_POOL_IDLETIMEOUT Time before connections are reaped when inactive (in milliseconds) 60000
DATABASE_ACQUIRE_CONNECTION_TIMEOUT How long to wait for database connections to be acquired before timing out (in milliseconds) 20000
DATABASE_MIGRATION_ENABLED Whether to run db migrations (0 to disable) true
DATABASE_MIGRATION_TABLE_NAME What table name to use to store which db migrations have been run migrations
DATABASE_MIGRATION_DIRECTORY Where to look for db migration scripts (don’t change) ./migrations
DATABASE_SEED_ENABLED Whether to seed data with the sample data (1 to enable) off
DATABASE_SEED_DIRECTORY Where to find db seed data ./seeds
DATABASE_DEFAULT_SCHEMA Database search path public

Email Configuration

Variable Description Default
EMAIL_CONFIG_USE What email protocol to use (smtp is all that is supported) SMTP
EMAIL_SMTP_HOST SMPT Host (leave blank to disable)
EMAIL_DEBUG Whether or not to print out emails to console (set to 1 to enable) off
EMAIL_SMTP_SECURE_CONNECTION Whether SMTP is secured (set to 1 to enable) off
EMAIL_DEFAULT_SENDER_EMAIL Who emails should appear from
EMAIL_SYSTEM_ERROR_REPORT_ENABLE Email errors to a system email address (1 to enable) off
EMAIL_SYSTEM_ERROR_REPORT Where to email system errors
EMAIL_TEMPLATE_DIR Email template directory (mount/provide your own to customize emails) dist/email-templates

RabbitMQ Configuration

Variable Description Default
RABBITMQ_ENABLED Whether to enable rabbitmq (1 is enabled) 1 - enabled
RABBITMQ_HOST_NAME RabbitMQ Hostname rabbitmq
RABBITMQ_HOST_PORT RabbitMQ Port Number 5672
RABBITMQ_PROTOCOL RabbitMQ Protocol (don’t change) amqp
RABBITMQ_USER_NAME RabbitMQ Username guest
MSG_QUEUE_NAME_IMAGE_SCANNER RabbitMQ Queue Name for queueing scans trawler_queue

File Storage Configuration

Variable Description Default
FILE_MANAGEMENT_STORAGE File storage method. local or s3 (see multer docs) local
FILE_MANAGEMENT_LOCAL_DEST Where to store files /mnt/storage

Misc App Configuration

Variable Description Default
ADMISSION_CONTROLLER_DEFAULT_ACTION The default behavior when we fail to validate whether or not an image is compliant for some reason. deny
GATEKEEPER_TEMPLATE_DIR Where Gatekeeper templates should be loaded from dist/gatekeeper-templates
KUBEBENCH_CONFIG_DIR Where to load the kube-bench configuration templates kube-bench-templates
RELEASE_NAMESPACE Where it should install things when using install wizards default

5.2 - Trawler Parameters

Instructions for Configuring Trawler

Trawler is our app for running scans of your containers. Right now, it is a wrapper around Trivy, one of the best container scanners available, but it is architected such that other scanners could be supported in the future (contributions are welcome!).


Trawler is normally run in listening mode in the cluster and in scanning mode when scanning a single image from a CICD Pipeline.

You can see how to use one mode or the other by just viewing the built-in help docs.

trawler help

The output looks something like this:

trawler [-Dh] [-A=<m9sweeperApiKey>] [-H=<rabbitmqHostname>]
[-p=<rabbitmqPassword>] [-P=<trawlerParallelScanners>]
[-q=<rabbitmqQueueName>] [-t=<rabbitmqPort>] [-u=<rabbitmqUsername>]
[-U=<m9sweeperUrl>] [COMMAND]

Run Trawler in its RabbitMQ mode where it will monitor a specified RabbitMQ
queue for scan jobs.

-P, --parallel-scans=<trawlerParallelScanners>
number of scanners that Trawler can run at once
-U, --url=<m9sweeperUrl>   URL of the m9sweeper instance
-A, --api-key=<m9sweeperApiKey>
API Key of the m9sweeper instance
-D, --debug                whether to enable debug logs
-u, --rabbitmq-user=<rabbitmqUsername>
username of the RabbitMQ server
-p, --rabbitmq-password=<rabbitmqPassword>
password of the RabbitMQ server
-H, --rabbitmq-host=<rabbitmqHostname>
hostname of the RabbitMQ server
-t, --rabbitmq-port=<rabbitmqPort>
port of the RabbitMQ server
-q, --rabbitmq-queue=<rabbitmqQueueName>
name of the RabbitMQ queue to listen on
-h, --help                 display this help and exit

scan  Scan a single docker image in the standalone scan mode.

Many settings can be set through the CLI.

Running an image scan is as simple as:

trawler scan alpine:3.15

Environment Variables

In addition to CLI parameters, you can also configure Trawler using environment variables. This is the norm when deploying a trawler runner to run automatic scans of new, unrecognized images as well as nightly image scans.

General Configuration Options

Parameter Description Default
M9SWEEPER_URL URL of m9sweeper API (required)
TRAWLER_RUN_MODE Whether to run as a passive scan worker (rabbitmq) or scan a single image and exit (scan) rabbitmq

Configuration Options for Running a Scan Worker

Parameter Description Default
TRAWLER_PARALLEL_SCANNERS When passively listening for scans, how many parallel workers to run 1
RABBITMQ_USERNAME RabbitMQ Username guest
RABBITMQ_PASSWORD RabbitMQ Password guest
RABBITMQ_HOSTNAME RabbitMQ Hostname rabbitmq
RABBITMQ_PORT RabbitMQ Port Number 5672
RABBITMQ_QUEUE_NAME RabbitMQ Queue Name to listen for Scans trawler_queue

Configuration Options for Scanning a Single Image

Parameter Description Default
CLUSTER_NAME Name of cluster to scan images for
DOCKER_IMAGE_URL Docker image url to scan

5.3 - API Docs

API Documentation.

API documentation is provided through swagger, which is available at /doc/. For example, if you are hosting it at, it would be available at

6 - Contributing to m9sweeper

Contribution Guide

Contributing to m9sweeper


In our GitHub repository, our contains all the steps to get started with hacking m9sweeper.

We are very excited to have you a part of our community!


There are multiple repositories that comprise the m9sweeper platform @TODO - create repos in github and link them here

m9sweeper Repo: This repo is the main repo that integrates all the other repos together.

Dash Repo: This repo contains the dash application and all the jobs/scripting to install the platform

Trawler Repo: This repo is where the scanning functionality of the platform is developed.

kube-hunter Repo: Our helm wrapper for the kube-hunter image that is integrated in the m9sweeper platform

kube-bench Repo: Our helm wrapper for the kube-bench image that is integrated in the m9sweeper platform

BUGS If you find any bugs or are having any trouble, please contact us by filing an issue in the m9sweeper repo issues.

If you have any updates to our documentation, please make any PRs to our docs repo or click on the Edit this page to be taken directly to the page.