[Security Advisory] Multiple secret leaks when verbose logging is enabled

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Daniel Mangum

Oct 15, 2020, 6:33:02 PM10/15/20
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Hello Kubernetes Community,


Multiple security issues have been discovered in Kubernetes that allow for the exposure of secret data in logs, when verbose logging options are enabled. These issues have been rated Medium, with a CVSS of 4.7 CVSS:3.0/AV:L/AC:H/PR:L/UI:N/S:U/C:H/I:N/A:N. CVE-2020-8563 has been rated slightly higher as the leaked credential allows for a scope change to the underlying cloud provider.

Am I vulnerable?

  • CVE-2020-8563 - Vulnerable if using VSphere provider and kube-controller-manager is using logLevel >= 4

  • CVE-2020-8564 - Vulnerable if pull secrets are stored in a docker config file and loglevel >= 4. Also requires the docker config file to be malformed.

  • CVE-2020-8565 - Vulnerable if kube-apiserver is using logLevel >= 9

  • CVE-2020-8566 - Vulnerable if Ceph RBD volumes are supported and kube-controller-manager is using logLevel >= 4

Affected Versions

CVE-2020-8563 only affects 1.19.0 -1.19.2. All other CVEs affect 1.19, 1.18 and 1.17 releases and earlier.

Fixed Versions

  • CVE-2020-8563 - v1.19.3

  • CVE-2020-8564 - v1.19.3, v1.18.10, v1.17.13

  • CVE-2020-8565 - v1.20.0-alpha2

  • CVE-2020-8566 - v1.19.3, v1.18.10, v1.17.13



If sufficient verbose logging is enabled, the following secrets can be exposed in logs:

  • CVE-2020-8563 - VSphere Cloud credentials 

  • CVE-2020-8564 - Pull secrets or other credentials in docker config file

  • CVE-2020-8565 - Kubernetes authorization tokens (incl. bearer tokens and basic auth)

  • CVE-2020-8566 - Ceph RBD Admin secrets

How do I mitigate these vulnerabilities?

All four vulnerabilities are only exposed when verbose logging levels are enabled for the respective component, which is not done by default. These vulnerabilities can all therefore be mitigated by ensuring that the log level is below 4.

All four vulnerabilities can additionally be mitigated by preventing untrusted access to log files. An attacker can only recover the sensitive information exposed by these vulnerabilities if they can access the target logs.

If any exposed secrets are found in log files, it is recommended to rotate them as soon as possible. Exposure can occur in Kubernetes server side components, including kube-apiserver and kube-contoller-manager. Client tools using the affected code, like kubectl, can also log secret data.


Logs can be searched for any secret values that have already been exposed. The individual pull requests for each vulnerability contain details on the particular log entries that can include secret values.

For example, one can examine the kube-controller-manager logs for entries exposing Ceph RBD admin secrets:

$ kubectl logs -n kube-system kube-controller-manager | grep rbd | grep key

Additional Details

Please refer to the individual pull issues for further details:


  • CVE-2020-8563 - Kaizhe Huang (derek0405)

  • CVE-2020-8564 - Nikolaos Moraitis (Red Hat)

  • CVE-2020-8565 - Patrick Rhomberg (purelyapplied)

  • CVE-2020-8566 - Kaizhe Huang (derek0405)

Thank you,

Sam Fowler, on behalf of the Kubernetes Product Security Committee
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