Kubernetes Supply Chain Security: The Software Factory


Authors:   Andrew Martin


The presentation discusses the importance of securing Kubernetes systems and the need for reproducibility of artifacts in detecting compromised building structures.
  • Attacks on crypto wallets are currently a major target of cyber attacks
  • Attackers can hide malicious code in production code and use it to create a reverse shell to gain access to the infrastructure
  • Reproducibility of artifacts is important in detecting compromised building structures
  • The software factory should be able to build itself and recover from disaster
  • The evidence lake becomes a comparative place where we can detect signals of compromise
The speaker demonstrated how an attacker can use a malicious image to create a reverse shell and gain access to a container in the infrastructure. They also discussed the importance of running builds twice in different places to detect compromised building structures.


The original supply chain attack was described by Ken Thompson 35 years ago, in Reflections on Trusting Trust. As the SUNBURST attacks abuse the same implicit trust relationship between consumers and vendors today, we ask ourselves: does cloud native have the answer? Based on work from the US Air Force and DoD, we present a Kubernetes Software Factory approach that can defend against supply chain risks. But can we mitigate the risk entirely? What about consuming closed source and binary artefacts? Is there a silver bullet for this producer-consumer problem, that impacts supply chain relationships at all levels of industry and technology? In this talk we: - Showcase work to build a Kubernetes Software Factory with Tekton - Deep dive on signing and verification approaches to securely build software with in-toto, TUF, SPIFFE, SPIRE, and sigstore - Review lessons learned from the SUNBURST attacks - Detail future cloud native solutions to harden Kubernetes, builds, and infrastructure