Logging Scans from Vulnerability and Exploit Scanners (for Fun)

#GoLang #Vulnerabilities #Exploits #Scanners #Threat Intelligence #DigitalOcean #k8s #DOKS #Docker #Load Balancers


In this post, I explain a script (deployable to k8s) which will log incoming requests to collect requests from vulnerability and exploit scanners.

It’s very basic and is not meant for any production use-cases, but it just a fun project to learn more about GoLang, k8s, and vulnerability scanners.


You can find the scanner on Github here.

We’ll deploy it to a k8s cluster (I’m using DigitalOcean’s Kubernetes service (DOKS)) and see what vulnerability and exploit scanners hit our app!

If you’ve never built a docker image, pushed it to a registry, and/or deployed that image to k8s, you can keep reading this post as I’ll walk you through the process, but you may also find DigitalOcean’s guide on the subject helpful.

The process

The process requires four steps:

  1. Create a docker image
  2. Push docker image to a registry
  3. Deploy that image to a k8s cluster
  4. View logs showing scanner activity

So let’s jump in!

Create Docker Image

To create a docker image locally, we start by cloning the repo:

git clone [email protected]:fhightower/k8s-scanner-collector.git;
cd k8s-scanner-collector;

and we build a docker image with the name scanner-collector like:

docker build -t scanner-collector .

You can look at the Dockerfile to see what is included in this docker image.

You can then run the image you created with:

docker run -p 80:80 scanner-collector

which will run the scanner on http://localhost:80.

If you run this locally, you can see that, for each request, it logs:

  • The requested path
  • The IP from which the request is coming (we make a best effort to find this)

Push Docker Image to Registry

Next, we’ll deploy our docker image to a registry (in this case, in DigitalOcean, but the process should be similar for different cloud providers).

To do this, we’ll use the doctl cli.

We start by creating a token and then running this command which will prompt you for your token:

doctl auth init

Now, if you don’t already have a registry, run:

doctl registry create <registry-name>

where <registry-name> is globally unique. If you already have a registry in DigitalOcean, you an skip this step.

Next, we login into our registry:

doctl registry login

Now, run this command to let docker know which image we want to push to the registry:

docker tag scanner-collector registry.digitalocean.com/<registry-name>/scanner-collector

and push it to the registry:

docker push registry.digitalocean.com/<registry-name>/scanner-collector

To make sure it has been pushed successfully, we can run it locally using the image from the registry:

docker run -p 80:80 registry.digitalocean.com/<registry-name>/scanner-collector

Deploy Image to k8s

Now, we’re ready to deploy our image to k8s.

First, we create a new cluster with sane defaults:

doctl kubernetes cluster create <cluster-name> --tag scanner-collector --auto-upgrade=true --node-pool "name=mypool;count=2;auto-scale=true;min-nodes=1;max-nodes=3;tag=scanner-collector"

(see more details on this command here).

Now, we need to give our cluster access to our private registry:

doctl registry kubernetes-manifest | kubectl apply -f -
kubectl patch serviceaccount default -p '{"imagePullSecrets": [{"name": "registry-<registry-name>"}]}'

(see more details about these commands here).

Now for the fun part… let’s deploy the collector:

kubectl create deployment scanner-collector --image=registry.digitalocean.com/<registry-name>/scanner-collector

You can view the pods with:

kubectl get pods

Now, let’s add a load balancer so our service is publicly accessible:

kubectl expose deployment scanner-collector --type=LoadBalancer --port=80 --target-port=80

This can take a few minutes to get created, but you can run this until the Status field is active:

doctl compute load-balancer list --format Name,Created,IP,Status

Once Status is active, you should see an IP address which is the public IP for your deployment.

You can visit that IP address in your browser and will see your app.

View Logs Showing Scanner Activity

Now that we have a publicly accessible app, we can look at the logs to see if there’s anyone scanning our IP for vulnerabilities or exploits.

I recommend running:

kubectl get pods

and then, using a pod name from the output from the last command:

kubectl logs <pod-name>

This will show some odd traffic like a request to /?XDEBUG_SESSION_START=phpstorm trying to take advantage of this vulnerability.

Enjoy and let me know if you find anything particularly interesting!