Living off the Land Techniques in Managed Kubernetes Clusters - Ronen Shustin & Shay Berkovich, Wiz

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Managed Kubernetes services offer the luxury of leveraging K8s without the burdens of control plane maintenance. But this convenience comes with compromises – notably, a reduction in control and, more critically, the introduction of CSP-specific cluster middleware that expands attack surface. This includes elements like DaemonSets, DNS services, and integral system processes in worker node images. Recently-issued CISA guidance on LotL techniques recognizes the problem and offers a solution directions, albeit in a general cloud and on-prem environments. In this talk, we demonstrate a series of LotL techniques that, in the absence of other methods, utilize middleware functionality to elevate RBAC privileges, move laterally, bypass security controls, evade detections, and cause a headache to security teams that often can’t differentiate between legitimate component and malicious behavior. Examples include abusing fluent-bit for PI exfiltration; achieving cluster admin via an obscure system node-problem-detector host service; leveraging webhooks for persistency etc. We establish taxonomy, talk about the techniques in the context of CISA guidance, and map them onto the K8s threat matrix.

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