Scan Your Docker Images and Containers with VirusTotal: A Step-by-Step Guide


Docker has become a popular tool for deploying applications and managing containers. However, as the number of Docker images and containers grows, so does the need to ensure their security. One way to achieve this is by scanning your Docker images and containers with VirusTotal.

This guide will walk you through a step-by-step guide on using a script that automates scanning your Docker images and containers with VirusTotal.

What is VirusTotal?

VirusTotal is a free online service that analyzes files and URLs for viruses, worms, trojans, and other malicious content. It uses multiple antivirus engines, including those from popular vendors like Kaspersky, McAfee, and Symantec, to detect threats. VirusTotal also provides an API that allows developers to integrate its scanning capabilities into their applications and workflows.

Benefits of Using VirusTotal

By using VirusTotal to scan your Docker images and containers, you can benefit from the following:

  • Comprehensive scanning: VirusTotal scans files using multiple antivirus engines, providing a higher detection rate and reducing the chances of false positives.
  • Timely updates: VirusTotal is updated regularly with the latest antivirus signatures as a cloud-based service, ensuring that your scans are as accurate as possible.
  • Ease of use: VirusTotal’s API simplifies integrating the service into your existing workflows and tools.

Why use this script?

The script has several benefits:

  1. Automates the process of scanning Docker images and containers with VirusTotal.
  2. Sends Slack notifications when malicious or suspicious files are detected.
  3. Ensures that your applications and infrastructure are secure and up-to-date.
  4. It helps you comply with security best practices and regulatory requirements.

How to use the script

First, make sure you have Docker installed on your system. If not, you can download it from the official Docker website.

Then, obtain an API key from VirusTotal. You will need this key to use the VirusTotal API in the script.

Next, you need to run the following commands to clone the repository:

git clone
cd bash-script-docker-virustotal-scan-containers
chmod +x

Finally, run the script with the required parameters:


Replace PATH with the directory where you want to save the exported images or containers, KEY with your VirusTotal API key, and of course, the URL with your Slack Webhook URL (if you want to receive Slack notifications). Depending on what you want to scan, the EXPORT_TYPE parameter should be set to either image or container.

The script will export your Docker images or containers, upload them to VirusTotal for scanning, and send Slack notifications (if configured) when malicious or suspicious files are detected.

Wrapping Up

This guide introduced a script that automates scanning Docker images and containers with VirusTotal. Using this script and following best practices, you can keep your Docker images and containers secure and up-to-date.

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Having started his career in 1999 as a Desktop Support Engineer, Anto soon changed paths and became a developer. After several years of development experience, he transitioned into a consultant. As an enterprise application consultant for a leading SaaS software provider, Anto specializes in AWS's serverless technologies. By day, Anto focuses on helping customers leverage the power of serverless technologies. By night, he indulges his passion for cloud computing by playing with Python and trying out things that are currently beyond the scope of his work. Sometimes Anto needs help as there are not enough hours at night. So Anto relies on a team of fellow Cloud enthusiasts to help him out. Each one is a Cloud expert in their own right, and Anto takes great pride in helping them learn and grow.

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