Kubernetes Security @ DeepSec Vienna 2021

On 18th and 19th of November 2021, the DeepSec security conference took place in Vienna to bring together the world’s most renowned security professionals from academics, government, industry, and the underground hacking community.

For anyone in IT and IT-security, there seems to be no way around Kubernetes. Containerization has changed the way software is developed, deployed, and operated. Microservices is the new paradigm. Many information security teams around the world, who see the adoption of Kubernetes and microservice-architectures in their organization, discuss just now: What does containerization and Kubernetes mean to security and how to fit this technology into our existing architectures and processes?

At DeepSec 2021, Marc Nimmerrichter from Certitude Consulting held a talk to share Kubernetes’ main security concerns and vulnerabilities and how to mitigate them with secure architectures and solid hardening measures.

In this talk he dissected the various components of Kubernetes and showed how they work technically under the hood. Marc explained common pitfalls and how they could be exploited to gain privileges, take over components or compromise the whole cluster. He demonstrated how kernel exploits could be used to escape container isolation mechanisms using the Dirty COW vulnerability as an example. But not all is bad – with the right approach, Kubernetes environments can even lead to security improvements compared to classic architectures. Marc showed which technologies, techniques and measures could be used to avoid security issues and how to design a secure Kubernetes architecture.

A big thank you goes to the organizers who successfully planned this conference despite ever-changing Covid regulations.