Guide to the Secure Configuration of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 4

with profile NIST National Checklist for Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform
This compliance profile reflects the core set of security related configuration settings for deployment of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform into U.S. Defense, Intelligence, and Civilian agencies. Development partners and sponsors include the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), U.S. Department of Defense, the National Security Agency, and Red Hat. This baseline implements configuration requirements from the following sources: - Committee on National Security Systems Instruction No. 1253 (CNSSI 1253) - NIST Controlled Unclassified Information (NIST 800-171) - NIST 800-53 control selections for Moderate-Impact systems (NIST 800-53) - U.S. Government Configuration Baseline (USGCB) - NIAP Protection Profile for General Purpose Operating Systems v4.2.1 (OSPP v4.2.1) - DISA Operating System Security Requirements Guide (OS SRG) For any differing configuration requirements, e.g. password lengths, the stricter security setting was chosen. Security Requirement Traceability Guides (RTMs) and sample System Security Configuration Guides are provided via the scap-security-guide-docs package. This profile reflects U.S. Government consensus content and is developed through the ComplianceAsCode initiative, championed by the National Security Agency. Except for differences in formatting to accommodate publishing processes, this profile mirrors ComplianceAsCode content as minor divergences, such as bugfixes, work through the consensus and release processes.
This guide presents a catalog of security-relevant configuration settings for Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 4. It is a rendering of content structured in the eXtensible Configuration Checklist Description Format (XCCDF) in order to support security automation. The SCAP content is is available in the scap-security-guide package which is developed at

Providing system administrators with such guidance informs them how to securely configure systems under their control in a variety of network roles. Policy makers and baseline creators can use this catalog of settings, with its associated references to higher-level security control catalogs, in order to assist them in security baseline creation. This guide is a catalog, not a checklist, and satisfaction of every item is not likely to be possible or sensible in many operational scenarios. However, the XCCDF format enables granular selection and adjustment of settings, and their association with OVAL and OCIL content provides an automated checking capability. Transformations of this document, and its associated automated checking content, are capable of providing baselines that meet a diverse set of policy objectives. Some example XCCDF Profiles, which are selections of items that form checklists and can be used as baselines, are available with this guide. They can be processed, in an automated fashion, with tools that support the Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP). The NIST National Checklist Program (NCP), which provides required settings for the United States Government, is one example of a baseline created from this guidance.
Do not attempt to implement any of the settings in this guide without first testing them in a non-operational environment. The creators of this guidance assume no responsibility whatsoever for its use by other parties, and makes no guarantees, expressed or implied, about its quality, reliability, or any other characteristic.

Profile Information

Profile TitleNIST National Checklist for Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform
Profile IDxccdf_org.ssgproject.content_profile_ncp

CPE Platforms

  • cpe:/a:redhat:openshift_container_platform:4.1
  • cpe:/o:redhat:openshift_container_platform_node:4
  • cpe:/a:redhat:openshift_container_platform:4.6
  • cpe:/a:redhat:openshift_container_platform:4.7
  • cpe:/a:redhat:openshift_container_platform:4.8
  • cpe:/a:redhat:openshift_container_platform:4.9
  • cpe:/a:redhat:openshift_container_platform:4.10

Revision History

Current version: 0.1.58

  • draft (as of 2021-09-24)

Table of Contents

  1. OpenShift Settings
    1. Authentication


Group   Guide to the Secure Configuration of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 4   Group contains 2 groups and 1 rule
Group   OpenShift Settings   Group contains 1 group and 1 rule
[ref]   Each section of this configuration guide includes information about the default configuration of an OpenShift cluster and a set of recommendations for hardening the configuration. For each hardening recommendation, information on how to implement the control and/or how to verify or audit the control is provided. In some cases, remediation information is also provided. Many of the settings in the hardening guide are in place by default. The audit information for these settings is provided in order to verify that the cluster admininstrator has not made changes that would be less secure than the OpenShift defaults. A small number of items require configuration. Finally, there are some recommendations that require decisions by the system operator, such as audit log size, retention, and related settings.
Group   Authentication   Group contains 1 rule
[ref]   In cloud workloads, there are many ways to create and configure to multiple authentication services. Some of these authentication methods by not be secure or common methodologies, or they may not be secure by default. This section introduces mechanisms for configuring authentication systems to OpenShift.

Rule   Do Not Use htpasswd-based IdP   [ref]

For users to interact with OpenShift Container Platform, they must first authenticate to the cluster. The authentication layer identifies the user associated with requests to the OpenShift Container Platform API. The authorization layer then uses information about the requesting user to determine if the request is allowed. Understanding authentication | Authentication | OpenShift Container Platform

The OpenShift Container Platform includes a built-in OAuth server for token-based authentication. Developers and administrators obtain OAuth access tokens to authenticate themselves to the API. It is recommended for an administrator to configure OAuth to specify an identity provider after the cluster is installed. User access to the cluster is managed through the identity provider. Understanding identity provider configuration | Authentication | OpenShift Container Platform

However, not all Identity Providers supported by OpenShift provide the same level of capabilities. As an example, the htpasswd Identity Provider only checks the username and password match and provides no means of 2FA, account lockout or notification mechanism. This rule therefore only allows a subset of identity providers.

Warning:  This rule's check operates on the cluster configuration dump. Therefore, you need to use a tool that can query the OCP API, retrieve the /apis/ API endpoint to the local /kubernetes-api-resources/apis/ file.

With any authentication mechanism the ability to revoke credentials if they are compromised or no longer required, is a key control. Kubernetes client certificate authentication does not allow for this due to a lack of support for certificate revocation.

OpenShift's built-in OAuth server allows credential revocation by relying on the Identity provider, as well as giving the administrators the ability to revoke any tokens given to a specific user.

In addition, using an external Identity provider allows for setting up notifications on account creation or deletion, multi-factor authentication, disabling inactive accounts or other features required by different compliance standards.

Rule ID:xccdf_org.ssgproject.content_rule_ocp_idp_no_htpasswd
Identifiers and References

Identifiers:  CCE-84209-6

References:  CIP-003-3 R5.1.1, CIP-003-3 R5.3, CIP-004-3 R2.2.2, CIP-004-3 R2.2.3, CIP-004-3 R2.3, CIP-007-3 R.1.3, CIP-007-3 R5, CIP-007-3 R5.1, CIP-007-3 R5.1.1, CIP-007-3 R5.1.2, CIP-007-3 R5.1.3, CIP-007-3 R5.2, CIP-007-3 R5.2.1, CIP-007-3 R5.2.3, CIP-007-3 R5.3.1, CIP-007-3 R5.3.2, CIP-007-3 R5.3.3, AC-2(1), AC-2(2), AC-2(3), AC-2(4), AC-2(7), AC-2(8), AC-7, IA-2, IA-2(1), IA-2(2), IA-2(3), IA-2(5), IA-2(12), IA-5(4)

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