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OWASP Threat Dragon

Threat Dragon comes in two variants, desktop application and web application.

Web application install instructions

The web application can be run locally or by using a remote server.

Using a Docker container

Pull the Threat Dragon docker image using docker pull threatdragon/owasp-threat-dragon:latest. The environment variables will need setting up and there is a step-by-step guide to help with this.

Installing from source

Threat Dragon is a Single Page Application (SPA) using Angular on the client and node.js on the server. To build and run locally follow these steps:

Install git and node.js - which includes the node package manager npm. To get the code, navigate to where you want your code to be located and run command:

git clone --recursive

This downloads the code into a directory called threat-dragon and contains the application code in two sub-folders, one for the back-end application (td.server) and one for the front-end (

To install, run: npm install from the root of the project. A postinstall script is run that will install dependencies in both the server and site directories as well.

Environment variables

Setting up these environment variables has at times caused some confusion, so there is a step-by-step guide to help with this.

Threat Dragon uses GitHub to store threat models, so you need to go to your GitHub account and register it as a GitHub application. Once you have done that you need to set the Client ID and Client Secret as environment variables (GITHUB_CLIENT_ID and GITHUB_CLIENT_SECRET). You also need to set a session signing key environment variable (SESSION_SIGNING_KEY).

Once a user is signed in, their session information contains an OAuth access token with write access to their GitHub repos. For security, this is encrypted before storage in the session. The session encryption supports multiple keys so that they can be expired without any interruption to the running application. The primary key is always used for encryption. Retired keys can be kept available for decrypting existing sessions. Once all sessions are using the new primary key (typically this will be around 60 minutes maximum), the old one can be safely removed. The keys are stored as a JSON string in the SESSION_ENCRYPTION_KEYS environment variable. For example:

[{\"isPrimary\": true, \"id\": 0, \"value\": \"abcdef\"}, {\"isPrimary\": false, \"id\": 1, \"value\": \"ghijkl\"}]

If you are developing locally, you can choose to store the session data in memory using the express-session in-memory store. To do this set the SESSION_STOREenvironment variable to local. As mentioned in the express-session docs this is for development only

  • it is not suitable for production. To remind you of this, Threat Dragon will write a log message at severity ERROR when it starts if the in memory session store is used.

For production use, Threat Dragon currently supports Azure Table Storage for the session store via connect-azuretables. To make this store work you need to specify an Azure Storage Account and key as environment variables AZURE_STORAGE_ACCOUNT and AZURE_STORAGE_ACCESS_KEY. See the connect-azuretables documentation for more options.

If you want to use an alternative session store in production, install it and edit the session.config.js file.

Lastly, by default, Threat Dragon will set the secure flag on cookies. To override this for development purposes, set the NODE_ENV environment variable to development.

Running the application

Once your environment variables are set up, start the node web server:

npm start

If you then browse to http://localhost:3000 you should see the running application.