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Vulnerability Leaves Container Images Without Passwords
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6/1/2019 | 4:09:42 PM
CIS Benchmarks and Image Shell Scripts
Years ago I started creating custom ISO images for deployment.  They were built to interact only with our internal SUSE YaST server hosting handpicked packages, controlled updates, etc.  We needed this level of control and security because we were spinning VMs for a highly monitored and audited ESX ecosystem.  In the early days of the CIS (Center for Internet Security) [1]  they released benchmarks for a handful of operating systems that identified areas of vulnerability and provided base scripts for hardening these OS's.  I took the SUSE Linux benchmark shell scripts and created a hardening master script that was automatically run during the ISO install of every VM we deployed.  This addressed issues like root access, open ports and so forth.  Older VMs of mine installed from this infrastructure of curated images still purr with maximum security.  Sure enough, years later, I see the CIS is still developing useful benchmarks and Docker is one of them [2].  Taken together with other benchmarks with security recommendations for OS and other IoT areas by CIS, issues like the one described could have been avoided, I believe.  This is why we have standards and are in desperate need of well-read, actively auditing and "real-time" InfoSec analysts and managers to execute them and oversee their execution.  I have never used Alpine Linux, but I would expect to see such practices at the heart of any "security-oriented, lightweight Linux distribution" development and deployment process, at a minimum.  Even when issues with packages like BusyBox and use of shadow exist, having automated scripts that exercise hardening and post-hardening tests on Docker images BEFORE ever getting released will ensure images like the ones discussed here are never downloaded by users.    

[1] CIS - Center for Internet Security:  https://cisecurity.org

[2] CIS Benchmarks: https://www.cisecurity.org/cis-benchmarks/

 

 


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