Skip to content

Working with Tracee Policies on Kubernetes


Before you begin, ensure that you have the following:

  • A Kubernetes cluster up and running
  • kubectl command-line tool installed and configured to work with your cluster
  • Helm v3 or later installed on your local machine

Install Tracee via Helm

To install Tracee using Helm, follow these steps:

Add the Aqua Security Helm repository:

helm repo add aqua

Install Tracee with the default settings:

helm install tracee aqua/tracee \
    --namespace tracee-system --create-namespace \
    --set hostPID=true

This command installs Tracee in the tracee-system namespace, enabling the use of the host's PID namespace.

Add a new Tracee policy

By default, Tracee comes with a policy for signature events. In this step, you will learn how to add a new policy suit your requirements.

The tracee-policies configmap should have all policies tracee will load when booting. Let's take a look on the default policy:

kubectl get configmap -n tracee-system

NAME               DATA   AGE
tracee-config      1      58m
tracee-policies    2      58m

Let's take a look at a look at the default policy:

kubectl describe configmap/tracee-policies -ntracee-system
Name:         tracee-policies
Namespace:    tracee-system
name: signature_events
description: traces all signature events
  - log
  - global
  - event: stdio_over_socket
  - event: k8s_api_connection
  - event: aslr_inspection
  - event: proc_mem_code_injection
  - event: docker_abuse
  - event: scheduled_task_mod
  - event: ld_preload
  - event: cgroup_notify_on_release
  - event: default_loader_mod
  - event: sudoers_modification
  - event: sched_debug_recon
  - event: system_request_key_mod
  - event: cgroup_release_agent
  - event: rcd_modification
  - event: core_pattern_modification
  - event: proc_kcore_read
  - event: proc_mem_access
  - event: hidden_file_created
  - event: anti_debugging
  - event: ptrace_code_injection
  - event: process_vm_write_inject
  - event: disk_mount
  - event: dynamic_code_loading
  - event: fileless_execution
  - event: illegitimate_shell
  - event: kernel_module_loading
  - event: k8s_cert_theft
  - event: proc_fops_hooking
  - event: syscall_hooking
  - event: dropped_executable

But let's supposed we also need tracee to trace all execve events, for it we need to change the configmap tracee-policies adding a new policy.

Let's edit the tracee-policies ConfigMap using kubectl:

kubectl edit cm/tracee-policies -n tracee-system

The ConfigMap will open in your default text editor. Locate the signatures.yaml section.

To add a new policy for tracking execve events, append the following YAML block under the signatures.yaml section, maintaining proper indentation:

events.yaml: |-
  name: execve_event
  description: traces all execve events
    - log
    - global
    - event: execve
Save and close the file. The changes will be applied automatically.


If you having a problem editing the configmap, you can apply it directly with:

kubectl apply -f

Step 3: Restart Tracee Daemonset After modifying the Tracee policies, you need to restart the Tracee daemonset for the changes to take effect.

Restart the Tracee daemonset using the following command:

kubectl rollout restart ds/tracee -n tracee-system

Wait for the daemonset to restart and stabilize. You can monitor the progress using the following command:

kubectl rollout status ds/tracee -n tracee-system

Then check for execve events:

kubectl logs -f ds/tracee -n tracee-system | grep execve
{"timestamp":1684688250477166817,"threadStartTime":1684688250477064221,"processorId":7,"processId":35694,"cgroupId":1386180,"threadId":35694,"parentProcessId":1033,"hostProcessId":3242201,"hostThreadId":3242201,"hostParentProcessId":3205483,"userId":0,"mountNamespace":4026532829,"pidNamespace":4026532833,"processName":"cri-dockerd","hostName":"minikube","container":{},"kubernetes":{},"eventId":"59","eventName":"execve","matchedPolicies":["execve_event"],"argsNum":2,"returnValue":0,"syscall":"execve","stackAddresses":null,"contextFlags":{"containerStarted":false,"isCompat":false},"args":[{"name":"pathname","type":"const char*","value":"/opt/cni/bin/bridge"},{"name":"argv","type":"const char*const*","value":["/opt/cni/bin/bridge"]},{"name":"envp","type":"const char*const*","value":null}]}

Once the daemonset is up and running, the modified policies will be applied.

Congratulations! You have successfully installed Tracee via Helm, modified the default policies to add an execve event policy.

Note: Modifying the policies may have security implications, so it is important to carefully consider the events you enable based on your specific requirements and security considerations.

Feel free to reach out if you have any further questions or need additional assistance!