bomber is an application that scans SBOMs for security vulnerabilities.


So you’ve asked a vendor for an Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) for one of their closed source products, and they provided one to you in a JSON file… now what?

The first thing you’re going to want to do is see if any of the components listed inside the SBOM have security vulnerabilities, and what kind of licenses these components have. This will help you identify what kind of risk you will be taking on by using the product. Finding security

Entire folder scan

This is good for when you receive multiple SBOMs from a vendor for the same product. Or, maybe you want to find out what vulnerabilities you have in your entire organization. A folder scan will find all components, de-duplicate them, and then scan them for vulnerabilities.

# scan a folder of SBOMs (the following command will scan a folder in your current folder named "sboms")
bomber scan --username=xxx --token=xxx ./sboms

You’ll see a similar result to what a Single SBOM scan will provide.

Output to HTML

If you would like a readable report generated with detailed vulnerability information, you can utilized the --output flag to save a report to an HTML file.

Example command:

bomber scan bad-bom.json --output=html

This will save a file in your current folder in the format “YYYY-MM-DD-HH-MM-SS-bomber-results.html”. If you open this file in a web browser, you’ll see output like the following:

Output to JSON

bomber can output vulnerability data in JSON format using the --output flag. The default output is to STDOUT. There is a ton of more information in the JSON output than what gets displayed in the terminal. You’ll be able to see a package description and what it’s purpose is, what the vulnerability name is, a summary of the vulnerability, and more.

Example command:

bomber scan bad-bom.json --output=json

Advanced stuff

If you wish, you can set two environment variables to store your credentials, and not have to type them on the command line. Check out the Environment Variables information later in this README.

Environment Variables

If you don’t want to enter credentials all the time, you can add the following to your .bashrc or .bash_profile

export BOMBER_PROVIDER_USERNAME={{your OSS Index user name}}
export BOMBER_PROVIDER_TOKEN={{your OSS Index API Token}}

Messing around

If you want to kick the tires on bomber you’ll find a selection of test SBOMs in the test folder.


  • It’s pretty rare to see SBOMs with license information. Most of the time, the generators like Syft need a flag like --license. If you need license info, make sure you ask for it with the SBOM.
  • Hate to say it, but SPDX is wonky. If you don’t get any results on an SPDX file, try using a CycloneDX file. In general you should always try to get CycloneDX SBOMs from your vendors.
  • OSV. It’s great, but the API is also wonky. They have a batch endpoint that would make it a ton quicker to get information back, but it doesn’t work. bomber needs to send one PURL at a time to get vulnerabilities back, so in a big SBOM it will take some time. We’ll keep an eye on that.
  • OSV has another issue where the ecosystem doesn’t always return vulnerabilities when you pass it to their API. We had to remove passing this to the API to get anything to return. They also don’t echo back the ecosystem so we can’t check to ensure that if we pass one ecosystem to it, that we are getting a vulnerability for the same one back.


If you would like to contribute to the development of bomber please refer to the file in this repository. Please read the file before contributing.

Software Bill of Materials

bomber uses Syft to generate a Software Bill of Materials every time a developer commits code to this repository (as long as Hookzis being used and is has been initialized in the working directory). More information for CycloneDX is available here.

The current CycloneDX SBOM for bomber is available here.


A big thank-you to our friends at Smashicons for the bomber logo.

Big kudos to our OSS homies at Sonatype for providing a wicked tool like the Sonatype OSS Index.

Download Bomber

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