Guest post from Sahdev Zala and Xiang Li, maintainers for etcd

We are proud to announce that the etcd team has successfully completed a 3rd party security audit for the etcd latest major release 3.4. The third party security audit was done for etcd v3.4.3 by Trail of Bits. We are thankful to the CNCF for sponsoring this audit. Also our big thanks to all the etcd maintainers, specially to Gyuho Lee, Hitoshi Mitake and Brandon Philips for working along with us during the whole process of auditing work.

A report from the security audit is available in the etcd community repo. We recommend that you take a look at it for the details. The report covers the process, what has been reviewed, and the issues that have been identified to be addressed. The audit was performed as a mixture of manual and automated review. Automated review consisted of running various static analysis tools, such as errcheck, ineffassign, and go-sec. The google/gofuzz and dvyukov/go-fuzz testing harnesses were developed to test the etcd Write Ahead Log (WAL) implementation. Results were subsequently reviewed and triaged as necessary. Manual review focused on gaining familiarity with the implementation details of etcd in various areas, such as, configuration options, default settings, service discovery, WAL operations, Raft consensus and leader election, proxy and gateway. The various security areas evaluated include data validation, access controls, cryptography, logging, authentication, data exposure, denial of service and configuration.

We are glad to see that there was no major issue found in the core components of etcd. According to the report summary, overall, the etcd codebase represents a mature and heavily adopted product. From the reported issues there was only one high severity issue which was found in the etcd gateway which is a simple TCP proxy that forwards network data to the etcd cluster. All the issues and severity are explained in great detail in the report. Issues are already addressed with needed code updates, documentation and better logging. The fixes are backported to supported versions of etcd, v3.3 and v3.4. These updated releases are now available. The security advisories are created using the GitHub Security tool to publish information about security vulnerabilities.

It is worth noting that a security audit is part of the graduation criteria for CNCF projects. Specifically, the graduation criteria says:

Have completed an independent and third party security audit with results published of similar scope and quality as the following example (including critical vulnerabilities addressed): and all critical vulnerabilities need to be addressed before graduation.

The next step for the etcd team is to work on the project graduation.

Security audits are one of the benefits of CNCF projects and we are grateful for them and the analysis performed by Trail of Bits, they were also involved in the detailed Kubernetes Security Audit last year. This analysis has provided some concrete areas we can work to improve and given us confidence in what we have.