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Getting Started

Tutorial on how to install and run Terrascan for the first time.

Terrascan is a static code analyzer for Infrastructure as Code. It can be installed and run in a number of different ways, and is most commonly used in automated pipelines to identify policy violations before insecure infrastructure is provisioned.

Running Terrascan for the First Time

Quickly get started with these common first tasks:

Installing Terrascan

Terrascan is a portable executable that does not strictly require installation, and is also available as a container image in Docker Hub. You can use Terrascan in two different methods based on your preference:

  1. Installing Terrascan locally
  2. Using a Docker container

Native executable

Terrascan’s release page includes latest version of builds for common platforms. Download and extract the package for your platform. Follow instructions that apply to your platform:

macOS and Linux

Download the latest version of builds for macOS and enter the following command. Note: for linux, replace Darwin with Linux

$ curl -L "$(curl -s https://api.github.com/repos/accurics/terrascan/releases/latest | grep -o -E "https://.+?_Darwin_x86_64.tar.gz")" > terrascan.tar.gz
$ tar -xf terrascan.tar.gz terrascan && rm terrascan.tar.gz
$ install terrascan /usr/local/bin && rm terrascan
$ terrascan

If you want to use this executable for the rest of this quickstart, it will help to create an alias or install the executable onto your path. For example with bash you could do something like this:

$ sudo install terrascan /usr/local/bin

or:

$ alias terrascan="`pwd`/terrascan"

Windows

Download the latest version of builds for Windows and enter the following command:

tar -zxf terrascan_<version number>_Windows_x86_64.tar.gz

Using a Docker Container

Terrascan is also available as a Docker image in Docker Hub and can be used as follows (assuming you have Docker installed):

$ docker run --rm accurics/terrascan version

If you want to use the Docker image for the rest of this “Getting Started” guide, please refer to the following command. Note the volume (-v) that is being mapped to the docker, and modify it if necessary to suit your environment.

$ alias terrascan="docker run --rm -it -v "$(pwd):/iac" -w /iac accurics/terrascan"

Note: This command includes a few extra options to enable Terrascan has access to the current directory when it is run.

Scanning with Terrascan

Example of interactive scan or using CLI

In this example, the KaiMonkey project contains some vulnerable Terraform files to scan. To run a scan, follow these steps:

$ git clone https://github.com/accurics/KaiMonkey
...
$ cd KaiMonkey/terraform/aws
$ terrascan scan

By default Terrascan will output its findings in human friendly format:

Violation Details -

	Description    :	S3 bucket Access is allowed to all AWS Account Users.
	File           :	modules/storage/main.tf
	Line           :	104
	Severity       :	HIGH
	-----------------------------------------------------------------------

	Description    :	S3 bucket Access is allowed to all AWS Account Users.
	File           :	modules/storage/main.tf
	Line           :	112
	Severity       :	HIGH
	-----------------------------------------------------------------------

	Description    :	Ensure that your RDS database has IAM Authentication enabled.
	File           :	modules/storage/main.tf
	Line           :	45
	Severity       :	HIGH
	-----------------------------------------------------------------------

	Description    :	Ensure VPC flow logging is enabled in all VPCs
	File           :	modules/network/main.tf
	Line           :	4
	Severity       :	MEDIUM
	-----------------------------------------------------------------------

	Description    :	EC2 instances should disable IMDS or require IMDSv2
	File           :	modules/compute/main.tf
	Line           :	124
	Severity       :	MEDIUM
	-----------------------------------------------------------------------

	Description    :	http port open to internet
	File           :	modules/network/main.tf
	Line           :	102
	Severity       :	HIGH
	-----------------------------------------------------------------------

	Description    :	Enabling S3 versioning will enable easy recovery from both unintended user actions, like deletes and overwrites
	File           :	modules/storage/main.tf
	Line           :	104
	Severity       :	HIGH
	-----------------------------------------------------------------------

	Description    :	Enabling S3 versioning will enable easy recovery from both unintended user actions, like deletes and overwrites
	File           :	modules/storage/main.tf
	Line           :	112
	Severity       :	HIGH
	-----------------------------------------------------------------------

	Description    :	AWS CloudWatch log group is not encrypted with a KMS CMK
	File           :	modules/compute/main.tf
	Line           :	115
	Severity       :	HIGH
	-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Scan Summary -

	File/Folder         :	/var/folders/2g/9lkfm6ld2lv350svwr15fdgc0000gn/T/x9wqg4/terraform/aws
	IaC Type            :	terraform
	Scanned At          :	2021-01-15 03:11:31.869816 +0000 UTC
	Policies Validated  :	571
	Violated Policies   :	9
	Low                 :	0
	Medium              :	2
	High                :	7

You should see a total of 9 violations, which are detailed in the output.

Now that you understand how to run Terrascan, you can explore various options available. The usage page covers the options in detail. For more information, see Related resources.

Related resources

  • The usage guide explains general usage, how to scan other types of IaC (such as: Kubernetes, Helm, and Kustomize), List of other IaC providers (e.g. Kubernetes, Helm, etc.), instructions to limit the scan to specific directories or files, and generating the output in different formats.
  • The CI/CD page explains how to integrate Terrascan on CI/CD pipelines.
  • Terrascan Policy Reference