Cross-posted from the cert-manager blog

In late 2023 the cert-manager project began a security audit, sponsored by the CNCF and carried out by the team at Ada Logics, as part of the ongoing effort for cert-manager to reach “graduated” status in the CNCF.

The goal of the engagement was to assess cert-manager’s code quality, along with checking its development and release practices and dependencies. In addition, the audit team integrated cert-manager into Google’s OSS-Fuzz project to help catch bugs on an ongoing basis.

The team evaluated threats from contributors to cert-manager or any of its dependencies, from users on the clusters where cert-manager is deployed and from external users in cases where cert-manager could process input from untrusted internet users.

For a full breakdown of the threat model and actors, see the full report.

A total of 8 issues were raised as part of the audit, of which 5 were low severity, 2 were moderate severity and 1 was informational. All issues have been resolved as of cert-manager v1.12.8, v1.13.4 and v1.14.3.

Dependencies of the cert-manager project were assessed using OpenSSF Scorecard. This is a process that scores repositories using several factors to build a picture of their maintenance status and suitability. Based on the results, three dependencies have been removed from cert-manager. The full findings and scoring for dependencies can be found on the full report.

We’ve opened an issue for implementing a strategy for evaluating new dependencies as they arise.

The cert-manager maintainer team would like to send a special thanks to the team at Ada Logics – in particular Adam Korczynski and David Korczynski – for completing this audit smoothly and professionally.

In addition, the project would of course like to thank the CNCF for their sponsorship of this audit, and Venafi who sponsored maintainer time to respond to and fix the findings in the report.

This security audit was the last major blocker for cert-manager’s journey to graduation, and we’ll be looking forward to working closely with the CNCF to try and achieve that goal in the coming months!