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Calico Enterprise enables live view of cloud-native apps deployed in Kubernetes

We are happy to announce that the latest release of Calico Enterprise delivers unprecedented levels of Kubernetes observability! Calico Enterprise 3.5 provides full-stack observability across the entire Kubernetes environment, from application layer to networking layer.

With this new release, developers, DevOps, SREs, and platform owners get:

  • A live, high-fidelity view of microservices and workload interactions in the environment, with the ability to take corrective actions in real time
  • An easy-to-understand, action-oriented view that maintains correlations at the service, deployment, container, node, pod, network, and packet levels
  • Kubernetes context for easy filtering and subsequent analysis of traffic payloads
  • A Dynamic Service Graph representing traffic between namespaces, microservices, and deployments for faster problem identification and troubleshooting
  • An interactive display that shows DNS information categorized by microservices and workloads, to determine whether DNS is the root cause of application connectivity issues
  • The ability to customize the duration and packet size for packet capture
  • Application-level observability to detect and prevent anomalous behaviors

For more information, see our official press release.

Are you a Calico Cloud user? Not to worry—these same features are now available in Calico Cloud, too.

To learn more about new cloud-native approaches for establishing security and observability with Kubernetes, check Continue reading

Announcing Calico Enterprise 3.5: New ways to automate, simplify and accelerate Kubernetes adoption and deployment

We are thrilled to announce the availability of Calico Enterprise 3.5, which delivers deep observability across the entire Kubernetes stack, from application to networking layers (L3–L7). This release also includes data plane support for Windows and eBPF, in addition to the standard Linux data plane. These new capabilities are designed to automate, simplify and accelerate Kubernetes adoption and deployment. Here are highlights from the release…

Application-level security and observability: Get the benefits of a service mesh, minus the operational complexity

The majority of operational problems inherent to deploying microservices in a distributed architecture are linked to two areas: security and observability. At the application level, the need to understand all aspects associated with service-to-service communication within the cluster becomes paramount. DevOps teams often struggle with these questions: Where is monitoring needed? How can I understand the impact of issues and effectively troubleshoot? How can I effectively protect application-level data?

If observability and security are your primary drivers for considering a service mesh, Calico provides L3–L7 observability and security without the additional overhead associated with a service mesh. Calico integrates Envoy at the node level to provide deep observability of microservices at the application level. Since HTTP is one of Continue reading

Join Tigera at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2021

We are excited to be a sponsor of this year’s virtual KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe conference, taking place May 4–7, 2021 online. We hope you’ll join us by visiting our virtual booth, where a team of Tigera experts will be standing by to speak with you.

Visit us at our booth

Our team will be conducting live demos, Ask the Architect sessions, 1:1 chats, and more during our booth hours.

Tigera booth hours

Live demo and Ask the Expert sessions

We will have eight 30-minute interactive sessions focused on addressing questions about Kubernetes security and observability. Stop by our booth to check out the times for these sessions.

Private 1:1 chats & calls

Attendees can view each booth representative’s profile and initiate a private or group text chat, or request a video call.

Public booth chat

Our booth will have a built-in public chat window where booth representatives and attendees can post and reply to messages. Announcements about upcoming activities will be posted in this chat by Tigera representatives.

Enter our raffle to win Apple AirPods

We have 5 pairs of Apple AirPods to give away! The first 100 visitors to our booth will automatically be entered to win. Attendees Continue reading

First look: new O’Reilly eBook on Kubernetes security and observability *early release chapters*

We are excited to announce the early release of a new O’Reilly eBook on Kubernetes security and observability!

This practical book introduces new cloud-native approaches for Kubernetes practitioners who care about the security and observability of mission-critical microservices. Through practical guidance and best practice recommendations, this book helps you understand why cloud-native applications require a modern approach to security and observability practices and how to implement them.

You should read this book if you want to:

  • learn why you need a security and observability strategy for cloud-native applications, and determine your scope of coverage;
  • understand key concepts behind Kubernetes’s security and observability approach;
  • discover how to split security responsibilities across multiple teams or roles; and/or
  • learn how to architect Kubernetes security and observability for multi-cloud and hybrid environments.

Whether you want to know how to secure and troubleshoot your cloud-native applications, or are exploring Kubernetes for your organization and would like to solve security and observability challenges before making a decision, you will find that this book provides valuable insight.

Get your early release copy here!

The post First look: new O’Reilly eBook on Kubernetes security and observability *early release chapters* appeared first on Tigera.

Calico Cloud now available on AWS Marketplace

We are pleased to announce that Calico Cloud, our software as a service (SaaS) for Kubernetes security and observability, is now available on AWS Marketplace! AWS users can now use Kubernetes security and observability as services along with managed Kubernetes services, all with a single click. For more information, see our official press release.

Can’t wait to jump right in? Subscribe and deploy Calico Cloud on AWS Marketplace here.

The post Calico Cloud now available on AWS Marketplace appeared first on Tigera.

How Calico Cloud’s runtime defense mitigates Kubernetes MITM vulnerability CVE-2020-8554

Since the release of CVE-2020-8554 on GitHub this past December, the vulnerability has received widespread attention from industry media and the cloud security community. This man-in-the-middle (MITM) vulnerability affects Kubernetes pods and underlying hosts, and all Kubernetes versions—including future releases—are vulnerable.

Despite this, there is currently no patch for the issue. While Kubernetes did suggest a fix, it only applies to external IPs using an admission webhook controller or an OPA gatekeeper integration, leaving the door open for attackers to exploit other attack vectors (e.g. internet, same VPC cluster, within the cluster). We previously outlined these in this post.

Suggested fixes currently on the market

Looking at the Kubernetes security market, there are currently a few security solutions that attempt to address CVE-2020-8554. Most of these solutions fall into one or two of three categories:

  1. Detection (using Kubernetes audit logs)
  2. Prevention (using admission webhook controller)
  3. Runtime defense (inline defense)

A few of the solutions rely on preventing vulnerable deployments using an OPA gatekeeper integration; these solutions alert users when externalIP (possibly loadBalancerIP) is deployed in their cluster configurations. Most solutions, however, present a dual strategy with a focus on prevention and detection. They use an admission controller for Continue reading

TeamTNT: Latest TTPs targeting Kubernetes

In April 2020, MalwareHunterTeam found a number of suspicious files in an open directory and posted about them in a series of tweets. Trend Micro later confirmed that these files were part of the first cryptojacking malware by TeamTNT, a cybercrime group that specializes in attacking the cloud—typically using a malicious Docker image—and has proven itself to be both resourceful and creative.

Since this first attack, TeamTNT has continuously evolved its tactics and added capabilities to expand and capture more available cloud attack surfaces. They started with targeting exposed Docker instances and quickly added support for different C2 mechanisms, encryption, DDoS, evasion, persistence and more. Now, their latest variant is targeting the most popular container orchestrator, Kubernetes. Let’s take a closer look.

Evolving Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs)

TeamTNT’s initial attack targeted an exposed, unprotected Docker API on the internet in order to run an Alpine Linux container. Once the container started running on the unprotected Docker API, a series of scripts were downloaded to facilitate the installation of a Monero cryptominer (to carry out scanning and cleaning activities). A notable script used in the attack was <>, which removed a bit of technically advanced Kinsing malware. Kinsing is Continue reading

Honeypods: Applying a Traditional Blue Team Technique to Kubernetes

The use of honeypots in an IT network is a well-known technique to detect bad actors within your network and gain insight into what they are doing. By exposing simulated or intentionally vulnerable applications in your network and monitoring for access, they act as a canary to notify the blue team of the intrusion and stall the attacker’s progress from reaching actual sensitive applications and data. Once the blue team is aware of the situation, the attack can be traced back to the initial vector. The attack can then be contained and removed from the network.

Applying this technique into a Kubernetes environment works exceedingly well because of the declarative nature of applying manifests to deploy workloads. Whether the cluster is standalone or part of a complex pipeline, workload communications are defined by the application’s code. Any communication that’s not defined can be deemed suspicious at minimum and indicate that the source resource may have been compromised. By introducing fake workloads and services around production workloads, when a workload is compromised, the attacker cannot differentiate between other real and fake workloads. The asymmetric knowledge between the attacker and the cluster operator makes it easy to detect lateral movements from compromised Continue reading

Tigera and Microsoft Extend the Power of Calico for Windows to AKS

Tigera, in collaboration with Microsoft, is thrilled to announce the public preview of Calico for Windows on Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). While Calico has been available for self-managed Kubernetes workloads on Azure since 2018, many organizations are migrating their .NET and Windows workloads to the managed Kubernetes environment offered by AKS. Now the leading open-source Kubernetes network policy and security solution for Kubernetes enables Windows users to fulfill their policy and compliance requirements on Azure Kubernetes Service.

With the availability of Calico for Windows on AKS in public preview, enterprises can leverage the power and simplicity of Calico to enable a single solution that provides uniform Kubernetes network policy and security for their clusters across AKS, other clouds and on-premises, as well as across their choice of Windows, Linux, and mixed-node environments.

Project Calico is the most widely adopted open-source solution for Kubernetes networking and security, used on more than 1 million nodes across 166 countries. However, thousands of our users want to be sure that choosing Calico is the right decision for many years to come. Calico is the only solution that offers a pluggable data plane supporting Windows, standard Linux and eBPF, thus future-proofing their decision Continue reading

Industry-First Pay-as-you-go SaaS Platform for Kubernetes Security and Observability

We are excited to introduce Calico Cloud, a pay-as-you-go SaaS platform for Kubernetes security and observability. With Calico Cloud, users only pay for services consumed and are billed monthly, getting immediate value without upfront investment.


Calico Cloud gives DevOps, DevSecOps, and Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) teams a single pane of glass across multi-cluster and multi-cloud Kubernetes environments to deploy a standard set of egress access controls, enforce security policies, ensure compliance, get end-to-end visibility, and troubleshoot applications. Calico Cloud is Kubernetes-native and provides native extensions to enable security and observability as code for easy and consistent enforcement across Kubernetes distributions, multi-cloud and hybrid environments. It scales automatically with the managed clusters according to the user requirements to ensure uninterrupted real-time visibility at any scale.

Security and Observability Challenges

  • North-South Controls: Often microservices need to communicate with services or API endpoints running outside the Kubernetes cluster. Implementing access control from Kubernetes pods to external endpoints is hard. Most traditional or cloud provider’s firewalls do not understand the Kubernetes context which forces the ops team to allow traffic from the entire cluster or a set of worker nodes.
  • East-West Controls: Even after effective perimeter-based north-south controls, the organizations face challenges to Continue reading

Kubernetes Observability Challenges: The Need for an AI-Driven Solution

Kubernetes provides abstraction and simplicity with a declarative model to program complex deployments. However, this abstraction and simplicity create complexity when debugging microservices in this abstract layer. The following four vectors make it challenging to troubleshoot microservices.

  1. The first vector is the Kubernetes microservices architecture, where tens to hundreds of microservices communicate. Debugging such a componentized application is challenging and requires specialized tools.
  2. The second vector is the distributed infrastructure spread across heterogeneous on-premises and cloud environments.
  3. The third vector of complexity is the dynamic nature of Kubernetes infrastructure. The platform spins up required resources and provides an ephemeral infrastructure environment to scale the application based on demand.
  4. Lastly, in such a distributed environment, Kubernetes deployments need fine-grained security and an observability model with defense-in-depth to keep them secure. While modern security controls effectively protect your workloads, they can have unintended consequences by preventing applications from running smoothly and creating an additional layer of complexity when debugging applications.

Today, DevOps and SRE teams must stitch together an enormous amount of data from multiple, disparate systems that monitor infrastructure and services layers in order to troubleshoot Kubernetes microservices issues. Not only is it overwhelming to stitch this data, but troubleshooting using Continue reading

Calico Enterprise: An Overview

As we enter a new year, it’s an appropriate time to reflect on our achievements at Tigera and how much Calico Enterprise has evolved over the past year as the industry’s leading Security and Observability solution for Kubernetes Networking and Microservices. Our experience working with enterprise-class early adopters has helped us to identify the most critical requirements for them to operationalize their Kubernetes deployments and successfully make the challenging transition from pilot to production. These learnings have helped us to shape today’s Calico Enterprise, which is visually represented in this solutions architecture diagram. Let’s dig into this feature-rich layer cake of functionality, from bottom to top!

Calico Enterprise Solutions Architecture

Calico Enterprise is “Kube-native”

But first, there are some important things to keep in mind as we explore. Calico Enterprise is a Kubernetes-native solution – Kube-native – in which everything we do is an extension of Kubernetes primitives. We leverage the full power of Kubernetes by integrating with the Kubernetes API server and creating our own aggregated API server. We use an operator model to access and control custom resources to perform specific functions, like RBAC for example, natively in Kubernetes. Being Kubernetes-native means that as Kubernetes evolves, Calico Enterprise Continue reading

Calico & Calico Enterprise: Now Available as AWS Quick Starts

As an AWS Advanced Technology Partner with AWS Containers Competency, Tigera is thrilled to announce that Calico and Calico Enterprise are both now available as AWS Quick Starts. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, an AWS Quick Start is a ready-to-use accelerator that fast-tracks deployments of key cloud workloads for AWS customers. Described as “gold-standard deployments in the AWS Cloud”, Quick Starts are designed to reduce hundreds of manual procedures into an automated, workflow-based reference deployment.

With Calico network policy enforcement, you can implement network segmentation and tenant isolation, which is especially useful when you want to create separate environments for development, staging, and production. Calico Enterprise builds on top of open source Calico to provide additional higher-level features and capabilities, and integrates with your existing AWS tools including security groups, Amazon CloudWatch, and AWS Security Hub so you can leverage existing processes and workflows in your EKS or Kubernetes infrastructure.

Everything you need to take advantage of Calico and Calico Enterprise in these Quick Starts is installed and configured in your Amazon Elastic Kubernetes (Amazon EKS) cluster, enabling you to take advantage of a rich set of Kubernetes security, observability, and networking features that Tigera provides in these Continue reading

Calico in 2020: The World’s Most Popular Kubernetes CNI

Calico and Kubernetes go hand-in-hand. Kubernetes is the de facto standard for deploying and managing container-based applications at scale, both on-premises and in the cloud. Calico continues to be the most popular open-source networking and network security solution for Kubernetes. Despite the cataclysmic events that occurred in 2020, the Calico community, supported by the team at Tigera, remained focused and achieved several major successes. We are excited to share these highlights.

Calico By The Numbers…

Since the beginning of 2020, we have experienced a 50% increase in the number of Calico Users. As of this writing, it is estimated that Calico is running on…

  • 1,000,000 nodes daily
  • 250,000 clusters daily
  • In 166 countries around the world

That’s an 85% year-to-year increase in the number of clusters running Calico.

Calico: Clear Winner Among All Tested CNIs

Alex Ducastel published an independent benchmark comparison of Kubernetes CNIs in August which showed that among all of the CNI’s tested, Calico was the clear winner, excelling in nearly every category and delivering superlative results which are summarized in the chart below. In fact, Calico is the CNI of choice in the primary use cases presented by the author in the report’s summary.

The exceptional Continue reading

New Vulnerability Exposes Kubernetes to Man-in-the-Middle Attacks: Here’s How to Mitigate

What is CVE-2020-8554?

A few weeks ago a solution engineer discovered a critical flaw in Kubernetes architecture and design, and announced that a “security issue was discovered with Kubernetes affecting multi-tenant clusters. If a potential attacker can already create or edit services and pods, then they may be able to intercept traffic from other pods (or nodes) in the cluster.” If a hostile user can create a ClusterIP service and set the spec.externalIP field, they can intercept traffic to that IP. In addition, if a user can patch the status of a LoadBalancer service, which is a privileged operation, they can also intercept traffic by exploiting the vulnerability.

Who is Affected?

All Kubernetes versions including the latest release v1.20 are vulnerable to this attack, with the most significant impact being to multi-tenant clusters. Multi-tenant clusters that grant tenants the ability to create and update services and pods are most vulnerable. Since this is a major design flaw with no fix in sight, it becomes imperative to understand and mitigate this CVE.

Technical Overview

The man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack starts with step 1 (shown in the diagram, below). A workload sends a connection request to legitimate IP 4.4. Continue reading

Automated, Simplified DNS Troubleshooting for Kubernetes: Only in Calico Enterprise

The Domain Name System (DNS) is a naming system for computers, services, or other resources connected to the Internet or a private network. DNS translates domain names to the numerical IP addresses needed for locating and identifying computer services and devices. For decades It’s been an essential component of the Internet. It’s an essential part of Kubernetes as well, and is used to determine how workloads connect to Kubernetes services as well as resources outside the cluster.

DNS also happens to be a common source of outages and issues in Kubernetes clusters. When applications are not working as expected, the root cause is often DNS-related. However, debugging and troubleshooting DNS issues in Kubernetes environments is not a trivial task given the limited amount of information Kubernetes provides for DNS queries.

Lacking the necessary visibility into the cluster to correlate a DNS query or reply with a specific workload, for example, you are left in the dark. Without Kubernetes context, you are unable to capture even the most fundamental information needed for troubleshooting, such as the type of DNS query (or reply) or the source of the query.

Figure: The DNS Dashboard from Tigera helps Kubernetes teams more quickly confirm or Continue reading

Tigera to Support Amazon EKS-Distro

Today, we are excited to announce our commitment to support Calico and Calico Enterprise for the Amazon EKS-Distro, a Kubernetes distribution based on and used by Amazon EKS. EKS-D enables you to create reliable and secure Kubernetes clusters using the same versions of Kubernetes and its dependencies deployed by Amazon EKS.
We view EKS-D as further confirmation of the central role that Kubernetes plays in today’s IT infrastructure. We are excited to work with Amazon on this initiative to enable EKS-D users with the same robust enterprise networking and network security functionality that you rely on today to secure your EKS cluster deployments.

Tigera’s commitment to supporting EKS-D highlights our fundamental design principle of “choice”. Our customers can choose to use Calico and Calico Enterprise with their preferred Kubernetes distribution and use the same solution to operate seamlessly across different Kubernetes distributions, including multi-cloud multi-cluster and hybrid environments. Calico Enterprise, for example, allows you to manage multiple Kubernetes clusters to define, apply, and enforce consistent networking and security policy across all your clusters from a single master cluster. Adding EKS-D clusters, which use the same underlying versions of Kubernetes deployed by Amazon EKS, as an option for our customers Continue reading

Calico Delivers “Wow Effect” with 6x Faster Encryption than Any Other Solution… Confirms Leadership in Latest Independent CNI Benchmark Tests

Benchmark tests measure a repeatable set of quantifiable results that serve as a point of reference against which products and services can be compared. Since 2018, Alexis Ducastel, a Kubernetes CKA/CKAD and the founder of InfraBuilder, has been running independent benchmark tests of Kubernetes network plugins (CNI) over a 10Gbit/s network.

The latest benchmark in this periodic series of tests was published in September, and was based on CNI versions that were up-to-date as of August 2020. Only CNIs that can be set up with a single yaml file were tested and compared, and included the following:

  • Antrea v.0.9.1
  • Calico v3.16
  • Canal v3.16 (Flannel network + Calico Network Policies)
  • Cilium 1.8.2
  • Flannel 0.12.0
  • Kube-router latest (2020–08–25)
  • WeaveNet 2.7.0

We are thrilled to report that among all of the CNI’s tested, Calico was the clear winner, excelling in nearly every category and delivering superlative results which are summarized in the chart below. In fact, Calico is the CNI of choice in the primary use cases presented by the author in the report’s summary.

The exceptional performance of Calico encryption was described as having the “real wow effect” among all of Continue reading

Introducing Fast, Automated Packet Capture for Kubernetes

If you’re an SRE or on a DevOps team working with Kubernetes and containers, you’ve undoubtedly encountered network connectivity issues with your microservices and workloads. Something is broken and you’re under pressure to fix it, quickly. And so you begin the tedious, manual process of identifying the issue using the observability tools at your disposal…namely metrics and logs. However, there are instances where you may need to go beyond these tools to confirm a potential bug with applications running in your cluster.

Packet capture is a valuable technique for debugging microservices and application interaction in day-to-day operations and incident response. But generating pcap files to diagnose connectivity issues in Kubernetes clusters can be a frustrating exercise in a dynamic environment where hundreds, possibly thousands of pods are continually being created and destroyed.

First, you would need to identify on which node your workload is running, match your workload against its host-based interface, and then (with root access to the node) use tcpdump to generate a file for packet analysis. Then you would need to transfer the pcap files to your laptop and view them in Wireshark. If this doesn’t initially generate the information you need to identify and resolve the Continue reading

Introducing Data-in-Transit Encryption for Calico Enterprise

We’re excited to announce that Calico Enterprise, the leading solution for Kubernetes networking, security and observability in hybrid and multi-cloud environments, now includes encryption for data-in-transit.

Calico Enterprise is known for its rich set of network security implementations to protect container workloads by restricting traffic to and from trusted sources. These include, but are not limited to, implementing existing enterprise security controls in Kubernetes, managing egress access using DNS policy, extending firewalls to Kubernetes, and intrusion detection and threat defense. As the Kubernetes footprint expands, however, we’ve seen demand for an even greater in-depth approach to protecting sensitive data that falls under regulatory compliance mandates.

Not all threats originate from outside an organization. According to Gartner, nearly 75% of breaches happen due to insider behavior, from people within the organization such as employees, former employees, contractors or business associates, who have inside information concerning the organization’s security practices, data and computer systems. This level of exposure is unacceptable for organizations that have strict data protection and regulatory compliance requirements. No matter where a threat originates, encrypted data is unreadable to anyone except the legitimate keyholder, thus protecting the data should a breach occur.

Several regulatory standards Continue reading

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