The Ripple Effects of OpenMetadata Vulnerabilities on Kubernetes Clusters

Explore the critical vulnerabilities in OpenMetadata and their impact on Kubernetes environments, including preventative measures to secure your systems.
TL;DR: Critical Vulnerabilities in OpenMetadata Affecting Kubernetes Clusters
Microsoft has recently uncovered severe vulnerabilities in OpenMetadata that impact Kubernetes environments, specifically versions prior to 1.3.1. These vulnerabilities allow attackers to bypass authentication and execute code remotely, leading to unauthorized access and cryptomining activities. Businesses utilizing Kubernetes are advised to update OpenMetadata to the latest version, enhance monitoring, and implement robust security measures to mitigate risks.

In a recent disclosure, Microsoft has highlighted a series of critical vulnerabilities in OpenMetadata, an open-source metadata management framework, that pose serious risks to Kubernetes environments. 

Key Details of the Attack

On March 15, 2024, vulnerabilities within OpenMetadata were disclosed, affecting versions prior to 1.3.1. These vulnerabilities, identified as CVE-2024-28255, CVE-2024-28847, CVE-2024-28253, CVE-2024-28848, CVE-2024-28254, allow attackers to bypass authentication and execute code remotely. Since early April, there has been observed exploitation targeting Kubernetes clusters hosting OpenMetadata workloads.

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The Attack Process

Initial Access and Exploitation

Attackers begin by scanning for exposed Kubernetes workloads running vulnerable versions of OpenMetadata. Upon discovering such workloads, the attackers exploit the vulnerabilities to execute malicious code on the affected containers.

Reconnaissance and Validation

Post-exploitation, the attackers utilize publicly resolvable OAST domains to confirm network connectivity without raising alarms, a stealth tactic that precedes further malicious actions.

Deployment of Cryptomining Malware

Following successful exploitation and reconnaissance, attackers deploy cryptomining malware to hijack system resources, turning compromised clusters into sources of illicit cryptocurrency mining.

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Implications for Organizations

This attack underscores the intricate nature of modern digital ecosystems and the cascading risks posed by third-party components. Businesses are reminded of the critical need for vigilance and proactive security measures to protect against such vulnerabilities.

Preventative Measures and Recommendations

  • Update and Patch: Ensure all OpenMetadata instances are updated to version 1.3.1 or later.
  • Enhance Monitoring: Utilize tools like ThreatKey to detect unusual activities indicative of breaches.
  • Implement Strong Access Controls: Apply rigorous authentication measures to prevent unauthorized access.


The discovery and exploitation of these vulnerabilities in OpenMetadata serve as a critical reminder of the persistent threats facing Kubernetes environments. Organizations must prioritize comprehensive security strategies to defend against these evolving threats.


What is OpenMetadata?
OpenMetadata is an open-source platform used to manage metadata across various data sources.
What should I do if my organization uses OpenMetadata?
Ensure your deployments are updated to version 1.3.1 or later, and review access controls.
How do attackers exploit these vulnerabilities?
Attackers exploit these vulnerabilities by bypassing authentication mechanisms to execute arbitrary code on vulnerable systems.
What can be done to detect such an attack?
Deploy security solutions like Microsoft Defender for Cloud that can detect and alert on suspicious activities.
Why is this significant for Kubernetes environments?
Kubernetes environments often host critical applications, making them prime targets for attackers seeking to exploit vulnerabilities like those found in OpenMetadata.

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