Exploring the Containers and Security

Introduction to Containerization:

Containers have revolutionized the way software applications are developed, deployed, and managed in today's fast-paced and dynamic IT landscape. Basically, a container is like a virtual box that holds everything a piece of software needs to run. It includes the software itself, along with all the necessary code, libraries, and settings. Containers make it easy to move software from one place to another, ensuring it works the same way no matter where it runs. Unlike traditional virtual machines, containers virtualize the operating system kernel, enabling multiple containers to run on a single host without the need for a separate operating system instance for each.

In this article, our focus will be on the basics of Docker and Kubernetes and their security. Docker uses the concept of deploying an image, and Kubernetes relies on deploying pods. In simpler terms, Docker manages the deployment of software packages known as images, while Kubernetes oversees the deployment of groups of containers called pods.

Understanding Docker and Image:

Docker is a powerful platform designed to make it easier to develop, deploy, and run applications using containers. It provides a standardized way to package applications and their dependencies, ensuring consistency and portability across different environments.

A Docker image is like a ready-to-use package for software. It's a snapshot that contains everything a program needs to run, such as code, libraries, and settings. Think of it as a virtual box that holds all the necessary stuff. Docker images are like pre-packed bundles that ensure a program works smoothly wherever you want to use it.

A Docker Compose is like a chef's assistant for Docker. When you have a recipe with multiple ingredients (services), Docker Compose helps you manage and cook the whole meal (application). It's a tool that allows you to define and run multi-container Docker applications easily. With a simple configuration file, you can specify all the parts of your application, their settings, and how they should work together. The below image shows how Docker works.

Docker Installation and Usage for Linux:

The below commands are used to install and start a docker.

This command is used to check the currently installed version of docker.

The below commands are used to pull and run a docker image.


The below command is used to build with Dockerfile.

For example: pulling a DVWA image.

This command is used to check the pulled docker images.

The below commands are used to check the status of process, stop and delete the docker image.

To utilize Docker-Compose, you'll require a configuration file named docker-compose.yml. This YAML file serves as a blueprint for your Docker Compose setup. Below are some fundamental commands to operate Docker Compose efficiently:

Docker Compose Installation and Usage for Linux:

The below commands are used to install and check the version of docker compose.

The below command is used to pull a docker image using docker-compose.yml.

The below commands are used to check the status of process and stop the docker image.

This command used to delete or remove a docker compose image.

Understanding Kubernetes and Pods:

Kubernetes, commonly known as K8s, acts as an open-source platform that organizes and manages containers. Imagine it as a coordinator overseeing a group of containers, ensuring they collaborate effortlessly. By simplifying the process of deploying and overseeing applications, Kubernetes ensures a consistent and dependable performance across various environments.

At the heart of Kubernetes are "pods", think of pods as collaborative spaces where containers, like coworkers in an office, share resources and communicate effortlessly. This grouping enables efficient collaboration and enhances the overall performance of containerized applications. The below image shows how Kubernetes works.

Kubernetes Installation and Usage for Linux:

Installing Kubernetes can be a little challenging due to its complexity and various components. But don't worry, the following steps will guide you through the process and make it easier to understand.

The below commands are used to install, start and enable docker.

You can select either of the two options below. 



Then continue with the below commands.

This command is used to comment out the swap line in fstab.

The below command is used to enable the Kublet service.

Run the below command, replacing IP with your actual IP address. Ensure to verify that your network connection is set to either bridged or NAT.

Then next follow with the below commands.

Finally completed the Installation, now you can deploy or run the Kubernetes.

Process and Methodology of Container Security:

Containers, like Docker and Kubernetes, have become pivotal components in modern DevOps pipelines, enabling teams to streamline workflows and accelerate software delivery. However, their widespread adoption has also attracted the attention of cybercriminals or hackers seeking vulnerabilities to exploit. It is crucial to understand the importance of container security in protecting sensitive data, maintaining regulatory compliance, and ensuring the integrity of your applications.

Intelliroot adheres to the following methodology for conducting Container Security assessments:

  1. Reconnaissance: In this first phase, it involves gathering insights about the container environment by exploring infrastructure components, utilizing Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT), and understanding the deployment architecture. It lays the foundation for identifying potential vulnerabilities.

  1. Static Analysis: Before deployment, Intelliroot assesses container images and configurations. This includes scanning for known vulnerabilities, ensuring the authenticity of container content through image signing and verification, addressing security misconfigurations, and establishing access controls and network segmentation.

  1. Run-Time Analysis: During the actual execution of containers, Intelliroot focuses on continuous monitoring and security measures. This includes container isolation to prevent unauthorized access, implementing runtime policies, automated security testing, and adopting Infrastructure as Code (IaC) principles for efficient management. Networking and service discovery are also scrutinized.

  1. Exploitation: In this phase, Intelliroot actively detects and mitigates the vulnerabilities. This process involves removing false positives, preventing exploitation, and addressing issues related to persistence and lateral movement. The goal is to ensure that identified vulnerabilities are effectively managed.

  1. Report & Retesting: The final phase involves creating a risk-based vulnerability map, providing a clear understanding of potential threats and retests vulnerabilities to confirm closures and iterates on security measures. This ongoing process helps in refining and enhancing the overall security posture, ensuring that the containerized environment remains resilient to evolving cyber threats. 

Auditing Tools and Purpose:

Enhancing the security of your applications against cyber threats involves employing various tools to identify vulnerabilities within digital containers. These tools function as detectives, systematically scanning containers to pinpoint potential weak points susceptible to exploitation by malicious actors or hackers.

Numerous open-source tools, such as Trivy, Kube-Hunter, Clair and others available on platforms like GitHub, serve this purpose. Intelliroot, as a provider of container security services, offers a comprehensive approach that combines both manual assessments and the utilization of cutting-edge tools to fortify an organization's security posture.

Tools Name


GitHub Repository


To finding vulnerabilities and misconfigurations in containers like Docker, Kubernetes, code repositories, clouds, and more, Intelliroot utilizes the Trivy tool.



Kube-Hunter is a tool focused on Kubernetes security, used to identify and address vulnerabilities and misconfigurations in Kubernetes clusters, enhancing overall security measures.



Clair is a tool for statically analyzing vulnerabilities in container images, aiding in proactively securing containerized applications.



In summary, the widespread adoption of containers through technologies like Docker and Kubernetes has revolutionized software development and deployment. However, with this innovation comes the critical need for robust container security. From image creation to runtime operation, safeguarding against cyber threats is essential. Our methodology focuses on these particular issues of container security and mitigate the risks as low as possible by minimizing the attack surfaces.

Contributed by Manab Jyoti Dowarah

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