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KICS support scanning multiple technologies, in the next sections you will find more details about each technology.


KICS supports scanning Ansible files with .yaml extension.

KICS can decrypt Ansible Vault files on the fly. For that, you need to define the environment variable ANSIBLE_VAULT_PASSWORD_FILE.

Ansible Config

KICS supports scanning Ansible Configuration files with .cfg or .conf extension.

Ansible Inventory

KICS supports scanning Ansible Inventory files with .ini, .json or .yaml extension.

Azure Resource Manager

KICS supports scanning Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates with .json extension.


KICS supports scanning Bicep files with .bicep extension.

For instructions on converting between ARM JSON templates and Bicep code, refer to the official ARM documentation. To understand the distinctions between the two, explore the official syntax comparison.

Note that KICS recognizes this technology as Azure Resource Manager (for queries purpose).

Explore our ongoing enhancements and planned features on our Future Improvements page.


AWS Cloud Development Kit is a software development framework for defining cloud infrastructure in code and provisioning it through AWS CloudFormation.

It has all the advantages of using AWS CloudFormation.

KICS currently support scanning AWS Cloudformation templates. In this guide, we will describe how to scan a simple CDK defined infrastructure following the Working With the AWS CDK in Go documentation.

Make sure all prerequisites are met.

Create a project

  1. Create a new CDK project using the CLI. e.g:
mkdir test-cdk
cd test-cdk
cdk init app --language go
  1. Download dependencies
go mod download
  1. Synthetize CloudFormation template
cdk synth > cfn-stack.yaml
  1. Execute KICS against the template and check the results. Note that KICS will recognized it as CloudFormation (for queries purpose).
docker run -t -v $PWD/cfn-stack.yaml:/path/cfn-stack.yaml -it checkmarx/kics:latest scan -p /path/cfn-stack.yaml


KICS supports scanning Github Workflows CICD files with .yaml or .yml extension.


KICS supports scanning CloudFormation templates with .json or .yaml extension.


KICS supports scanning Crossplane manifests with .yaml extension.

Azure Blueprints

KICS supports scanning Azure Blueprints files, including Azure Blueprints Policy Assignment Artifacts, Azure Blueprints Role Assignment Artifacts, and Azure Blueprints Template Artifacts with .json extension.

Note that KICS recognizes this technology as Azure Resource Manager (for queries purpose).


KICS supports scanning Docker files with any name (but with no extension) and files with .dockerfile extension.

Docker Compose

KICS supports scanning DockerCompose files with .yaml extension.


KICS supports scanning gRPC files with .proto extension.


KICS supports scanning Helm by rendering charts and running Kubernetes queries against the rendered manifest.

The charts file structure must be as explained by Helm:

Results are displayed against original Helm files:

Service With External Load Balance, Severity: MEDIUM, Results: 1
Description: Service has an external load balancer, which may cause accessibility from other networks and the Internet
Platform: Kubernetes

        [1]: /charts/nginx-ingress/templates/controller-service.yaml:20

                019:     release: {{ template "nginx-ingress.releaseLabel" . }}
                020:   name: {{ template "nginx-ingress.controller.fullname" . }}
                021: spec:


KICS supports scanning Knative manifests with .yaml extension. Due to the possibility of the definition of the PodSpec and PodTemplate in Knative files, Kubernetes Security Queries are also loaded once the presence of the Knative files is detected.


KICS supports scanning Kubernetes manifests with .yaml extension.


KICS supports scanning Swagger 2.0 and OpenAPI 3.0 specs with .json and .yaml extension.


KICS supports scanning Pulumi manifests with .yaml extension.


KICS supports scanning Serverless manifests with .yml extension. Due to the possibility of the definition of the CloudFormation template, inside Serverless.yml, CloudFormation Security Queries are also loaded once the presence of the ServerlessFW files is detected.

Google Deployment Manager

KICS supports scanning Google Deployment Manager files with .yaml extension.


KICS supports AWS Serverless Application Model (AWS SAM) files with .yaml extension. Note that KICS recognizes this technology as CloudFormation (for queries purpose).


KICS supports scanning Terraform's HCL files with .tf extension and input variables using terraform.tfvars or files with .auto.tfvars extension that are in same directory of .tf files.

Terraform Plan

KICS supports scanning terraform plans given in JSON. The planned_values will be extracted, built in a way that KICS can understand, and scanned as a normal terraform file.

Results will point to the plan file.

To get terraform plan in JSON format simply run the command:

terraform show -json plan-sample.tfplan > plan-sample.tfplan.json

Terraform Modules

KICS supports some official modules for AWS that can be found on Terraform registry, you can see the supported modules list in the libraries folder common.json file. This means KICS can find issues in verified modules listed on this json.

Currently, KICS does not support unofficial or custom modules.

Cloud Development Kit for Terraform (CDKTF)

KICS supports scanning CDKTF output JSON. It recognizes it through the fields metadata, stackName, and terraform.

To get your CDKTF output JSON, run the following command inside the directory that contains your app:

cdktf synth

You can also run the command cdktf synth --json to display it in the terminal.

Terraform variables path

When using vars in a terraform file there are 2 ways of passing the file in which a variable's value is present.

If none of these options are used kics will only resolve variables coming from the *.auto.tfvars files and the default variable values.

Option 1 - Comment on tf file

By adding, as the first line in a TF file, a rule that follows the logic below:

// kics_terraform_vars: path/to/terraform/
This line is a comment that Kics will look for when trying to decypher the variables used in that file.

Option 2 - Flag when calling the scan

By adding the flag --terraform-vars-path to the scan command it is possible to input the path of the variables fiel that will be used for all the files in the project.

NOTE: when using both options the flag option will take precedence and therefore define the variables.



At the moment, KICS does not support a robust approach to identifying Ansible samples. The identification of these samples is done through exclusion. When a YAML sample is not a CloudFormation, Google Deployment Manager, Helm, Kubernetes or OpenAPI sample, KICS recognize it as Ansible.

Thus, KICS recognize other YAML samples (that are not Ansible) as Ansible, e.g. GitHub Actions samples. However, you can ignore these samples by writing #kics-scan ignore on the top of the file. For more details, please read this documentation.


Although KICS support variables and interpolations, KICS does not support functions and enviroment variables. In case of variables used as function parameters, it will parse as wrapped expression, so the following function call:

resource "aws_launch_configuration" "example" {
  image_id      =
  instance_type = "${concat(list("${}", "${var.other_name}"), var.node_tags)}"
  spot_price    = var.price
  user_data_base64 = "${}=="

Considering = "a123B" and var.price = 1.023, it would be parsed like the following example:

resource "aws_launch_configuration" "example" {
  image_id      =
  instance_type = "${concat(list("${}", "${var.other_name}"), var.node_tags)}"
  spot_price    = 1.023
  user_data_base64 = "a123B=="