Manish Sampat

Author Archives: Manish Sampat

eBPF: When (and when not) to use it

Extended Berkeley Packet Filter (eBPF) is a relatively new feature for Linux kernels that has many DevOps, SREs, and engineers excited. But is it a one-stop shop solution for all of your Linux kernel needs? Let’s take a look at what eBPF does well, and how it stacks up against standard Linux iptables.


What is eBPF?

eBPF is a feature available in Linux kernels that allows you to run a virtual machine inside the kernel. This virtual machine allows you to safely load programs into the kernel, in order to customize its operation. Why is this important?

In the past, making changes to the kernel was difficult: there were APIs you could call to get data, but you couldn’t influence what was inside the kernel or execute code. Instead, you had to submit a patch to the Linux community and wait for it to be approved. With eBPF, you can load a program into the kernel and instruct the kernel to execute your program if, for example, a certain packet is seen or another event occurs.

With eBPF, the kernel and its behavior become highly customizable, instead of being fixed. This can be extremely beneficial, when used Continue reading

3 Layers to Defend Your Kubernetes Workloads

Researchers at Netflix and Google recently reported a vulnerability in the HTTP/2 protocol that enables adversaries to execute a DOS attack by legitimate use of the protocol. These types of attacks are very difficult to detect and mitigate because the traffic is valid HTTP/2 traffic. While HTTP/2 is a relatively new protocol it should be noted that even after several years of hardening we still see vulnerabilities for the TCP protocol like the recently reported SACK vulnerability.


Vulnerability Scanning and Patching

So how do we ensure that Kubernetes workloads are protected from these types of vulnerabilities? 

Security researchers work to identify new vulnerabilities and then help developers develop security patches. You can apply those patches to keep your software secure from the lastest known vulnerabilities.

The simple answer then is to scan workload images and patch your software and update your software to use the latest patches. However, that approach essentially means you have to wait for the next attack and then will need to repeat the cycle. While this works, it is not sufficient and quite disruptive to implement as we play into the hands of the adversaries where they are working on the next vulnerability while Continue reading