To help ensure the security of Kubernetes, OWASP has published the Kubernetes Top 10. The list contains the top ten risks that need to be considered when using Kubernetes.
Kubernetes is the preferred platform for cloud application development and deployment. It enables organizations to build, manage, and operate competitive services with a single platform. As its popularity increases, so does the risk of security vulnerabilities.
To help ensure the security of Kubernetes, OWASP has published the Kubernetes Top 10. The list includes the top ten risks that need to be considered when using Kubernetes. The risks range from vulnerabilities in the container image to unsecured API calls to insecure configurations and lack of security policies.
Kubernetes users should use this list as a reference to understand what risks they need to avoid to protect their applications. These include using secure container images, setting strict access policies, using encrypted connections and regularly reviewing security configurations.
Kubernetes is a powerful platform that offers many benefits to developers and organizations. Adhering to the OWASP Kubernetes Top 10 can ensure that applications remain secure while taking advantage of Kubernetes.
Insecure Workload Configurations is a vulnerability in the Kubernetes container orchestration system categorized as CWE-836 (Improper restriction of operations within the bounds of a memory buffer). This vulnerability occurs when a user or application can access and modify the configuration of a workload without proper authorization. This could result in malicious actors gaining access to sensitive data or making unauthorized changes to the system. In addition, this vulnerability can be exploited to gain access to the underlying infrastructure, such as the host operating system or other services running on the same system. Reference:
Supply chain vulnerabilities are a type of IT vulnerability that can occur when a malicious actor is able to gain access to a system through a third-party vendor or supplier. This type of vulnerability is particularly relevant in the context of Kubernetes, as it is a platform commonly used to manage and deploy applications. According to the Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE) directory, supply chain vulnerabilities are classified as CWE-502, which is defined as "the use of components with known vulnerabilities." In addition, the OWASP Testing Guide recommends that organizations "ensure that all components used in the system are from trusted sources and are updated regularly."
Overly permissive RBAC configurations are a vulnerability in Kubernetes, identified as CWE-732: Incorrectly Assigning Permissions to Critical Resources. This vulnerability occurs when an administrator assigns overly permissive roles and permissions to a user or group, allowing them to access resources they should not have access to. This can lead to unauthorized access to sensitive data or the modification or deletion of critical resources.
Lack of centralized policy enforcement is a vulnerability in Kubernetes known as CWE-732: Incorrect Permission Assignment for Critical Resources. This vulnerability occurs when the Kubernetes cluster does not have a centralized policy enforcement system to ensure that all nodes in the cluster follow the same security policies. This can result in nodes having different security policies, which can lead to unauthorized access to sensitive data or resources. According to the OWASP test guide, this vulnerability can be identified by examining the cluster's security policies and ensuring that all nodes follow the same policies.
Inadequate logging and monitoring is a vulnerability in Kubernetes classified as CWE-778. This vulnerability occurs when Kubernetes does not have adequate logging and monitoring capabilities. This can lead to a lack of visibility into the system, which in turn can lead to security issues. In addition, this vulnerability can lead to a lack of accountability and the inability to detect malicious activity. According to the OWASP test guide, insufficient logging and monitoring can lead to a lack of visibility into the system, which in turn can lead to security issues.
Broken Authentication Mechanisms is a vulnerability in the Kubernetes system that allows attackers to gain access to the system by bypassing authentication mechanisms. This vulnerability is classified as CWE-287, which is defined as "Authentication Bypass Through User-Controlled Key" in the Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE) directory. According to the OWASP Testing Guide, this vulnerability is caused by the lack of proper authentication mechanisms such as passwords, tokens, or other authentication methods.
Missing network segmentation controls is a vulnerability in Kubernetes that can lead to unauthorized access to the system. This vulnerability is classified as CWE-732, which is defined as "Insufficient network message volume controls". It occurs when the system does not have adequate network segmentation controls, allowing attackers to gain unauthorized access to the system. This can lead to data loss, system compromise, and other malicious activities. (CWE Directory, 2020) According to the OWASP Testing Guide, this vulnerability can be identified by testing for the presence of network segmentation controls such as firewalls, access control lists, and other network security measures.
Secrets Management Failures in Kubernetes is a security vulnerability that occurs when secrets such as passwords, tokens, and certificates are not properly managed. This can lead to the secrets being exposed to unauthorized users, resulting in a data breach. This vulnerability is classified as CWE-798: Use of hardcoded credentials. It is also listed in the OWASP Testing Guide as a high risk vulnerability.
Misconfigured cluster components can have a significant impact on the security of a Kubernetes cluster. If not fixed, attackers can gain unauthorized access to the cluster, spy on sensitive data, and launch denial-of-service attacks. This can lead to loss of data, disruption of services, and financial losses.
Outdated and vulnerable Kubernetes components are a vulnerability in the Kubernetes container orchestration system. This vulnerability is classified as CWE-400: Uncontrolled Resource Exhaustion. It occurs when Kubernetes components are not updated to the latest version, making them more vulnerable to attacks. This can lead to a denial-of-service attack, where malicious actors can consume resources and crash the system. In addition, outdated components can also be exploited to gain access to the system, allowing attackers to gain control of the system and its data.
The OWASP Kubernetes Top 10 project is an important tool for improving the security of Kubernetes clusters. It identifies the top ten security risks that can occur when using Kubernetes clusters. These risks include insecure configuration, insecure credential storage, insecure use of APIs, insecure use of containers, insecure use of networks, insecure use of Kubernetes objects, insecure use of Kubernetes roles, insecure use of Kubernetes clusters, insecure use of Kubernetes services, and insecure use of Kubernetes applications. By eliminating these risks, through, for example, the guidance of the Kubernetes Security Cheat Sheet, organizations can ensure that their Kubernetes clusters are secure and reliable.