An open API service providing security vulnerability metadata for many open source software ecosystems.

Security Advisories: GSA_kwCzR0hTQS0zM3BnLW02amgtNTIzN84AAyiu

Docker Swarm encrypted overlay network traffic may be unencrypted

Moby is an open source container framework developed by Docker Inc. that is distributed as Docker, Mirantis Container Runtime, and various other downstream projects/products. The Moby daemon component (dockerd), which is developed as moby/moby is commonly referred to as Docker.

Swarm Mode, which is compiled in and delivered by default in dockerd and is thus present in most major Moby downstreams, is a simple, built-in container orchestrator that is implemented through a combination of SwarmKit and supporting network code.

The overlay network driver is a core feature of Swarm Mode, providing isolated virtual LANs that allow communication between containers and services across the cluster. This driver is an implementation/user of VXLAN, which encapsulates link-layer (Ethernet) frames in UDP datagrams that tag the frame with a VXLAN Network ID (VNI) that identifies the originating overlay network. In addition, the overlay network driver supports an optional, off-by-default encrypted mode, which is especially useful when VXLAN packets traverses an untrusted network between nodes.

Encrypted overlay networks function by encapsulating the VXLAN datagrams through the use of the IPsec Encapsulating Security Payload protocol in Transport mode. By deploying IPSec encapsulation, encrypted overlay networks gain the additional properties of source authentication through cryptographic proof, data integrity through check-summing, and confidentiality through encryption.

When setting an endpoint up on an encrypted overlay network, Moby installs three iptables (Linux kernel firewall) rules that enforce both incoming and outgoing IPSec. These rules rely on the u32 iptables extension provided by the xt_u32 kernel module to directly filter on a VXLAN packet's VNI field, so that IPSec guarantees can be enforced on encrypted overlay networks without interfering with other overlay networks or other users of VXLAN.

An iptables rule designates outgoing VXLAN datagrams with a VNI that corresponds to an encrypted overlay network for IPsec encapsulation.

On Red Hat Enterprise Linux and derivatives such as CentOS and Rocky, the xt_u32 module has been:

This rule is not created when xt_u32 is unavailable, even though the container is still attached to the network.


Encrypted overlay networks on affected platforms silently transmit unencrypted data. As a result, overlay networks may appear to be functional, passing traffic as expected, but without any of the expected confidentiality or data integrity guarantees.

It is possible for an attacker sitting in a trusted position on the network to read all of the application traffic that is moving across the overlay network, resulting in unexpected secrets or user data disclosure. Thus, because many database protocols, internal APIs, etc. are not protected by a second layer of encryption, a user may rely on Swarm encrypted overlay networks to provide confidentiality, which due to this vulnerability is no longer guaranteed.


Patches are available in Moby releases 23.0.3, and 20.10.24. As Mirantis Container Runtime's 20.10 releases are numbered differently, users of that platform should update to 20.10.16.




Source: GitHub Advisory Database
Origin: Unspecified
Severity: Moderate
Classification: General
Published: 2 months ago
Updated: about 2 months ago

CVSS Score: 6.8
CVSS vector: CVSS:3.1/AV:N/AC:H/PR:N/UI:N/S:C/C:H/I:N/A:N

Identifiers: GHSA-33pg-m6jh-5237, CVE-2023-28841

Affected Packages
Versions: >= 23.0.0, < 23.0.3, >= 1.12.0, < 20.10.24
Fixed in: 23.0.3, 20.10.24