Snyk for .NET

Snyk offers security scanning to test your projects for vulnerabilities, both through the Snyk CLI and from the Snyk Web UI through different Snyk Integrations.
This page describes how to use Snyk to scan your .NET Projects.

Features of Snyk for .NET

Feature availability Features may not be available, depending on your plan. See pricing plans for more details.
Package managers / Features
CLI support
Git support
License scanning
Fix PRs
Snyk does not currently support PackageReference without a version attribute. If your Project lacks this, Snyk may fail to open a PR for your Project. The current workaround is to add versions to all PackageReferences.

How Snyk for .NET works

Once Snyk has built the tree, Snyk uses its vulnerability database to find vulnerabilities in any of the packages anywhere in the dependency tree.
In order to scan your dependencies, you must ensure you have first installed the relevant package manager and that your project contains the supported manifest files.
The way Snyk analyzes and builds the tree varies depending on the language and package manager of the project, as well as the location of your Project:

Snyk CLI for .NET projects


Dependencies managed by PackageReference

First, restore dependencies in the .NET project by running dotnet restore and make sure obj/project.assets.json has been created by the previous command. Then run snyk test. For more information see Getting started with the CLI.
Examples of supported Project files that resolve into project.assets.json include:
  • *.csproj
  • *.vbproj
  • *.fsproj
Project files can be combined with lock files for a more deterministic project.assets.json resolution.

Dependencies managed by packages.config

While there are two approaches for dependencies managed by packages.config, the following is the recommended approach as this will yield the most accurate results:
First, install the dependencies into the packages folder by running nuget install -OutputDirectory packages and make sure the packages dir has been created by the previous command. Then run snyk test.
Examples of supported project files that resolve into packages include:
  • packages.config
While you should also be able to run snyk test without previously installing dependencies this will result in less accurate vulnerability results.

CLI options

This section describes the unique CLI options available when working with NuGet managed projects.
Test all .NET projects included in the given .sln file. For example snyk test --file=myApp.sln
Test an individual .NET project.
This is the folder in which your dependencies are installed, provided you are using packages.config. If you’ve assigned a unique name to this folder, then Snyk can only find it if you enter a custom path.
Use the absolute or relative path, including the name of the folder where your dependencies reside.
For example: snyk test --packages-folder=../location/to/packages for Unix OS snyk test --packages-folder=..\location\to\packages for Windows.
When monitoring a .NET project using NuGet, the PackageReference key uses the project name that is indicated in the project.assets.json.

Paket: Dependencies managed by Paket

To use Paket a paket.lock file be sure is present in combination with a paket.dependencies file. Then run snyk test
Other support includes project.json (no longer recommended, refer to Microsoft documentation).
In order to build the dependency tree, Snyk analyzes the paket.dependencies and paket.lock files.

Git services for .NET projects

.NET projects can be imported from any of the Git services Snyk supports.
When your Projects have been imported, Snyk analyzes your Projects based on their supported manifest files and then builds the dependency tree and displays it in the Snyk Web UI, similar to the following:


Once you select a Project for import, Snyk builds the dependency tree based on these manifest files:
  • For .NET Core, the *.proj files
  • For .NET Framework, the *.proj file, and packages.config
Examples of supported project files include:
  • *.csproj
  • *.vbproj
  • *.fsproj
A .NET project can target multiple target frameworks. Snyk creates a separate dependency tree for each target framework, displaying each as a separate Snyk Project from the interface. In this way, it’s easier to understand why a dependency is being used and also to assess the fix strategy.


No import support currently.

Git settings for .NET

From the Snyk Web UI, you can configure Snyk to scan your entire Project, including the build dependencies, or skip the build dependencies.
You can also update your language preferences.
  1. 1.
    Log in to your account and navigate to the relevant Group and Organization that you want to manage.
  2. 2.
    Go to Settings and select settings for .NET. To scan all development dependencies, be sure Scan build dependencies is checked.

Fixing vulnerabilities for .NET

For a general understanding of how Snyk helps you fix Open Source vulnerabilities within your projects, see Fix your vulnerabilities.
Feature availability The Fix PR feature is only available across Snyk SCM integrations.

Fix PR supported manifest files

If you are currently managing your Project dependencies with NuGet and leveraging PackageReference or packages.config Snyk can automatically update the dependency version in your manifest file, provided there is an actual fix for it. You can then review and merge your fixes.

Dependency analysis

In the .NET ecosystem, there are multiple levels of dependencies, some of which are obvious and some completely hidden to a developer. To correctly identify the vulnerabilities for a given .NET application, these dependencies must be resolved accurately.
Snyk resolves dependencies differently in the Snyk CLI and the Source Code Management (SCM) systems such as GitHub:
  • In the CLI, if you manage your Project dependencies using PackageReference, Snyk scans your obj/project.assets.json. if you manage your dependencies using packages.config, Snyk scans the packages directory. This approach allows Snyk to be very accurate. Note: Runtime dependencies (provided by the runtime environment also known as "meta-packages") are resolved more accurately in the CLI if the host machine uses a similar runtime SDK to the server running the app.
  • In the SCM integration, scanning uses a different process, as the generated files mentioned above are not available. To overcome this Snyk follows the NuGet dependency resolution algorithm to construct a dependency tree.
For further informaiton on .NET automated fixes, see the Snyk blog.

Build-time vs Runtime dependencies

  • Build-time dependency: Snyk understands build time dependency to be resolved during build time and not susceptible to change at runtime.
  • Runtime dependency: Snyk understands runtime dependency to be resolved against the installed runtime. For example, packages coming from the .NET framework (<=4) / .NET runtime (for Core and .NET 5+) such as System.Net.Http . Snyk sometimes refers to runtime dependencies as meta-packages.

Tackling vulnerabilities from runtime dependencies

There are a couple of actions you can choose to take in order to address these type of vulnerable dependencies. These vary between the SCM and the CLI.

Vulnerabilities from runtime dependences in SCM

If you believe you have found false positives because the application runs on a system that always has the latest patches from Microsoft installed, which may mean the vulnerability is no longer relevant to your Project, you may choose to ignore it.

Vulnerabilities from runtime dependencies in CLI

If you believe you have found false positives because when the application runs in production you always pull the latest/explicit patches from Microsoft, which may mean the vulnerability is no longer relevant to your Project, you may do the following or simply ignore them:
  • If in production your application always runs on the latest SDK patch version, you can set TargetLatestRuntimePatch to true in the Project file. Make sure to upgrade your environments (for example, dev, prod) to the latest runtime version.
  • You may choose to publish a self-contained app that includes the runtime. Then set RuntimeFrameworkVersionto the specific patch version in the Project file. You may choose to ignore vulnerabilities that you believe are no longer relevant.

Unsupported, Snyk for .NET

  • Directory.Build.props and Directory.Build.targets are not currently supported.
  • <ProjectReference>elements are not currently supported.
  • Private dependency scanning is not supported for the SCM integration. You can scan private dependencies using the Snyk CLI.
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