Verifying Gradle Wrappers with GitHub Actions

Pull Request Status Check with new 'Validate Gradle Wrapper / Validation' successful status

We are proud to announce the release of the new Gradle Wrapper Validation GitHub Action.

Gradle Wrapper in Open Source

The gradle-wrapper.jar is a binary blob of executable code that is checked into nearly 2.8 Million GitHub Repositories.

Searching across GitHub you can find many pull requests (PRs) with helpful titles like ‘Update to Gradle xxx’. Many of these PRs are contributed by individuals outside of the organization maintaining the project.

Maintainers are grateful for these kinds of contributions as it takes an item off of their backlog. But there are security implications of accepting changes to the Gradle Wrapper binary from external contributors that may not be apparent. An attacker could take advantage of the trust the open source community has by hiding malicious code inside the Gradle Wrapper. A malicious gradle-wrapper.jar could download, install and execute arbitrary code while otherwise behaving like a completely normal gradle-wrapper.jar.

Such an attack could be easily missed as the diff to the gradle-wrapper.jar looks like this.

Image of a GitHub Diff of Gradle Wrapper displaying text 'Binary file not shown.'

Verifying the Gradle Wrapper

We have created a simple GitHub Action that can be applied to any GitHub repository. This action will verify that any and all gradle-wrapper.jar files in the repository match an official SHA-256 checksum. If any file does not match, the action will fail.

Additionally, the action will detect any homoglyph variants of a file named gradle-wrapper.jar. The goal is to prevent difficult to spot homoglyph attacks, like renaming the gradle-wrapper.jar file to gradlе-wrapper.jar (which uses a Cyrillic е instead of e).

Securing Your Project

GitHub actions are free to use for open-source and are automatically enabled by default on almost all repositories. You can find out more about how to add this action to your GitHub repository here.

Existing Users

This action has already been contributed to some of the most popular Gradle based projects on GitHub including but not limited to:

And many more!

Reporting Failures

If this GitHub action fails because a gradle-wrapper.jar doesn’t match one of our published SHA-256 checksums, we highly recommend that you reach out to us at

If you’re curious and want to explore what the differences are between the gradle-wrapper.jar in your possession and one of our valid releases, you can compare them using this online utility: DiffScope.


To learn more about verifying the Gradle Wrapper JAR locally (ie. without using GitHub Actions), see our documentation on the topic.