safely* install packages with npm/yarn by auditing them as part of your install process
Media coverage about npq:
- Tao Bojlén's A web of trust for npm
- Zander's favorite list of command line tools
- Ran Bar Zik's npq review to install safe modules
- ostechnix's How To Safely Install Packages Using Npm Or Yarn On Linux
- debricked's How to evaluate the security of your NPM Package dependencies
- Liran Tal's Malicious Modules — what you need to know when installing npm packages
Once npq is installed, you can safely* install packages:
npq install express
npq will perform the following steps to sanity check that the package is safe by employing syntactic heuristics and querying a CVE database:
- Consult the snyk.io database of publicly disclosed vulnerabilities to check if a security vulnerability exists for this package and its version.
- Package age on npm
- Package download count as a popularity metric
- Package has a README file
- Package has a LICENSE file
- Package has pre/post install scripts
If npq is prompted to continue with the install, it simply hands over the actual package install job to the package manager (npm by default).
safely* - there's no guaranteed safety; a malicious or vulnerable package could still exist that has no security vulnerabilities publicly disclosed and passes npq's checks.
npm install -g npq
Note: we recommend installing with
npm rather than
yarn. That way,
npq can automatically install shell aliases for you.
Install packages with npq:
npq install express
Embed in your day to day
npq is a pre-step to ensure that the npm package you're installing is safe, you can safely embed it in your day-to-day
npm usage so there's no need to remember to run
Offload to package managers
If you're using
yarn, or generally want to explicitly tell npq which package manager to use you can specify an environment variable:
Example: create an alias with yarn as the package manager:
alias yarn="NPQ_PKG_MGR=yarn npq-hero"
npq by default will offload all commands and their arguments to the
npm package manager after it finished its due-diligence for the respective packages.
|age||Will show a warning for a package if its age on npm is less than 22 days||Checks a package creation date, not a specific version|
|downloads||Will show a warning for a package if its download count in the last month is less than 20|
|readme||Will show a warning if a package has no README or it has been detected as a security placeholder package by npm staff|
|scripts||Will show a warning if a package has a pre/post install script which could potentially be malicious|
|snyk||Will show a warning if a package has been found with vulnerabilities in snyk's database||For snyk to work you need to either have the
|license||Will show a warning if a package has been found without a license field||Checks the latest version for a license|
To disable a marshall altogether, set an environment variable using with the marshall's shortname.
Example, to disable snyk:
MARSHALL_DISABLE_SNYK=1 npq install express
Using with TravisCI
An example of using lockfile-lint with a
.travis.yml configuration as part of your build:
language: node_js before_script: - npx lockfile-lint --path package-lock.json --validate-https --allowed-hosts npm install: - yarn install script: - yarn run test
- Can I use NPQ without having npm or yarn?
- NPQ will audit a package for possible security issues, but it isn't a replacement for npm or yarn. When you choose to continue installing the package, it will offload the installation process to your choice of either npm or yarn.
- How is NPQ different from npm audit?
npm installwill install a module even if it has vulnerabilities; NPQ will display the issues detected, and prompt the user for confirmation on whether to proceed installing it.
- NPQ will run synthethic checks, called marshalls, on the characteristics of a module, such as whether the module you are going to install has a
pre-installscript which can be potentially harmful for your system and prompt you whether to install it. Whereas
npm auditwill not perform any such checks, and only consults a vulnerability database for known security issues.
npm auditis closer in functionality to what snyk does, rather than what NPQ does.
- Do I require a snyk API key in order to use NPQ?
- It's not required. If NPQ is unable to detect a snyk API key for the user running NPQ, then it will skip the database vulnerabilities check. We do, however, greatly encourage you to use snyk, and connect it with NPQ for broader security.
Please consult the CONTRIBUTING for guidelines on contributing to this project
Liran Tal email@example.com