Kubernetes image policy webhook explained

Kubernetes image policy webhook explained

You need to parse the requests do the logic and the response in order to allow or deny images in the cluster. The good parts of the ImagePolicyWebhook : The API server can be instructed to reject the images if the webhook endpoint is not reachable.


In this article we will explore how webhook works in kubernetes and more specifically about the ImagePolicyWebhook, the kubernetes documentation about it is kind of vague, since there is no real example or implementation that you can get out of it, so here we will break it down to the different alternatives, in a real world scenario I would prefer to rely in OPA Gatekeeper, I’m planning to make this trip worth by adding a database and make the webhook allow or disallow images based in the vulnerability scan, for example allow only medium or lower vulnerabilities in your containers, but that will be a post for another day, if you are interested you can help in this reposee more.

There are two ways to make this work each one has a slightly different behavior, one way is using the ImagePolicyWebhook and the other is using an Admission Controllers either works validating or mutating, here I used the validating webhook, you can learn more here.

This admission controller will reject all the pods that are using images with the latest tag and in the future we will see if all pods that are not able to meet the required security levels.


The ImagePolicyWebhook is an admission controller that evaluates only images, you need to parse the requests do the logic and the response in order to allow or deny images in the cluster.

The good parts about the ImagePolicyWebhook:

  • The API server can be instructed to reject the images if the webhook endpoint is not reachable, this is quite handy but it can also bring issues, like core pods won’t be able to schedule for example.

The bad parts about the ImagePolicyWebhook:

  • The configuration is a bit more involved and requires access to the master nodes or to the apiserver configuration, the documentation is not clear and it can be hard to make changes, update, etc.
  • The deployment is not so trivial as you need to deploy it with systemd or run it as a docker container in the host, update the dns, etc.

devops kubernetes security

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