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Privilege Escalation in Build Pipelines

2019-11-24

I recently gave a talk at O’Reilly Velocity Conference in Berlin. My initial plan was to create a blog version of it also, but I didn’t have enough time. Luckily there is a recording and the slides are available! Here’s the abstract:

CI/CD systems are usually tightly coupled, and inherit for the CD part a lot of administrative privileges combined with network access to production systems. We tend to believe that we only execute trusted software within those systems, but it quickly becomes clear that code from a huge variety of sources is loaded and executed in that system that isn’t under your control.

In the talk I will walk you through how to identify the most relevant issues along the steps of actual pipelines. You’ll take a deep dive on the confused deputy, a trusted third-party that can be tricked into abuse of its privileges, which will explain how the direct association of code with access permissions on a public cloud provider can help to eliminate the need to trust components in between.

The slides are at Speakerdeck