Cybercriminals Are Shifting Their Gaze To Kubernetes

Cybercriminals are now using a more varied arsenal of attack methods to target cloud environments, including shifting focus from Docker to Kubernetes. These findings were revealed in recent research from Aqua Security, which discovered that attackers are increasingly utilising cryptominers, backdoors, rootkits and credential stealers to infiltrate cloud environments.

Experts Comments

April 21, 2022
Sitaram Iyer
Global Security Architect
Jetstack

As the popularity of Kubernetes has risen, so too has the severity and frequency of attacks on them, as cybercriminals have realised that Kubernetes can be vulnerable. The cybercrime group TeamTNT has been a real exponent of this, having compromised more than 50,000 Kubernetes clusters over the last few years, spreading malware at will, and eventually launching a cryptominer.

With the pace of innovation in cloud rocketing, so too is the number of machine identities in use for the deployed

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As the popularity of Kubernetes has risen, so too has the severity and frequency of attacks on them, as cybercriminals have realised that Kubernetes can be vulnerable. The cybercrime group TeamTNT has been a real exponent of this, having compromised more than 50,000 Kubernetes clusters over the last few years, spreading malware at will, and eventually launching a cryptominer.

With the pace of innovation in cloud rocketing, so too is the number of machine identities in use for the deployed applications. Many of these applications will be spun up and down in a matter of seconds and are highly ephemeral . However, each application needs to be given an identity, which must be managed throughout its lifecycle. Enterprises are struggling to issue and manage these identities at cloud speed and scale. The result is new security risks due to mismanagement of machine identities

Zero trust is vital to protecting organisations against attacks targeting Kubernetes. Its important businesses stop blindly trusting everything within their build environments and instead adopt a stance whereby every component of the build pipeline is proactively challenged.

Automated machine identity is crucial to ensuring companies don’t kill the speed of development whilst deploying this zero trust model. Through automation, organisations can ensure the dynamic nature of cloud-native environments remain secure, as manually checking the provenance of every component of a build pipeline would take weeks. Developers need solutions that enable – instead of hinder – speed and security.

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