Protecting Against an Unfixed Kubernetes Man-in-the-Middle Vulnerability (CVE-2020-8554)


On Dec. 4, 2020, the Kubernetes Product Security Committee disclosed a new Kubernetes vulnerability assigned CVE-2020-8554. It is a medium severity issue affecting all Kubernetes versions and is currently unpatched. CVE-2020-8554 is a design flaw that allows Kubernetes Services to intercept cluster traffic to any IP address. Users who can manage services can exploit the vulnerability to carry out man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks against pods and nodes in the cluster.

Adversaries may utilize MITM attacks to masquerade as internal or external endpoints, harvest credentials from network traffic, tamper with a victim’s data before sending it to its intended target or block communications with specific IPs altogether. Using encrypted protocols such as Transport Layer Security (TLS) can help, as attackers cannot easily access their traffic.

Multi-tenant clusters are most at risk, as they are most likely to have non-admin users that can manage services. Attackers that compromised a single tenant may exploit the vulnerability to perform MITM attacks against other tenants in the cluster.

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Source: Palo Alto