Debugging Authorization

This page demonstrates how to debug Istio authorization. If you still cannot find solutions after following this page, feel free to send an email to istio-security@googlegroups.com for help.

Bulb It would be very helpful to also include a cluster state archive in your email by following instructions in reporting bugs.

Ensure Authorization is Enabled Correctly

The rbacConfig default cluster level singleton custom resource controls the authorization functionality globally.

  1. Run the following command to list existing RbacConfig:

    $ kubectl get rbacconfigs.rbac.istio.io --all-namespaces
  2. Verify there is only one instance of RbacConfig with name default. Otherwise, Istio disables the authorization functionality and ignores all policies.

    NAMESPACE   NAME      AGE
    default     default   1d
  3. If there is more than one RbacConfig instance, remove any additional RbacConfig instances and ensure only one instance is named default.

Ensure Pilot Accepts the Policies

Pilot converts and distributes your authorization policies to the proxies. The following steps help you ensure Pilot is working as expected:

  1. Run the following command to export the Pilot ControlZ:

    $ kubectl port-forward $(kubectl -n istio-system get pods -l istio=pilot -o jsonpath='{.items[0].metadata.name}') -n istio-system 9876:9876
  2. Verify you see the following output:

    Forwarding from 127.0.0.1:9876 -> 9876
  3. Start your browser and open the ControlZ page at http://127.0.0.1:9876/scopez/.

  4. Change the rbac Output Level to debug.

  5. Use Ctrl+C in the terminal you started in step 1 to stop the port-forward command.

  6. Print the log of Pilot and search for rbac with the following command:

    Note: You probably need to first delete and then re-apply your authorization policies so that the debug output is generated for these policies.

    $ kubectl logs $(kubectl -n istio-system get pods -l istio=pilot -o jsonpath='{.items[0].metadata.name}') -c discovery -n istio-system | grep rbac
  7. Check the output and verify:

    • There are no errors.
    • There is a "built filter config for ..." message which means the filter is generated for the target service.
  8. For example, you might see something similar to the following:

    2018-07-26T22:25:41.009838Z debug rbac building filter config for {sleep.foo.svc.cluster.local map[app:sleep pod-template-hash:3326367878] map[destination.name:sleep destination.namespace:foo destination.user:default]}
    2018-07-26T22:25:41.009915Z info  rbac no service role in namespace foo
    2018-07-26T22:25:41.009957Z info  rbac no service role binding in namespace foo
    2018-07-26T22:25:41.010000Z debug rbac generated filter config: { }
    2018-07-26T22:25:41.010114Z info  rbac built filter config for sleep.foo.svc.cluster.local
    2018-07-26T22:25:41.182400Z debug rbac building filter config for {productpage.default.svc.cluster.local map[pod-template-hash:2600844901 version:v1 app:productpage] map[destination.name:productpage destination.namespace:default destination.user:bookinfo-productpage]}
    2018-07-26T22:25:41.183131Z debug rbac checking role app2-grpc-viewer
    2018-07-26T22:25:41.183214Z debug rbac role skipped for no AccessRule matched
    2018-07-26T22:25:41.183255Z debug rbac checking role productpage-viewer
    2018-07-26T22:25:41.183281Z debug rbac matched AccessRule[0]
    2018-07-26T22:25:41.183390Z debug rbac generated filter config: {policies:<key:"productpage-viewer" value:<permissions:<and_rules:<rules:<or_rules:<rules:<header:<name:":method" exact_match:"GET" > > > > > > principals:<and_ids:<ids:<any:true > > > > >  }
    2018-07-26T22:25:41.184407Z info  rbac built filter config for productpage.default.svc.cluster.local

    It means Pilot generated:

    • An empty config for sleep.foo.svc.cluster.local as there is no authorization policies matched and Istio denies all requests sent to this service by default.

    • An config for productpage.default.svc.cluster.local and Istio will allow anyone to access it with GET method.

Ensure Pilot Distributes Policies to Proxies Correctly

Pilot distributes the authorization policies to proxies. The following steps help you ensure Pilot is working as expected:

Note: The command used in this section assumes you have deployed Bookinfo application, otherwise you should replace "-l app=productpage" with your actual pod.

  1. Run the following command to get the proxy configuration dump for the productpage service:

    $ kubectl exec  $(kubectl get pods -l app=productpage -o jsonpath='{.items[0].metadata.name}') -c istio-proxy -- curl localhost:15000/config_dump -s
  2. Check the log and verify:

    • The log includes an envoy.filters.http.rbac filter to enforce the authorization policy on each incoming request.
    • Istio updates the filter accordingly after you update your authorization policy.
  3. The following output means the proxy of productpage has enabled the envoy.filters.http.rbac filter with rules that allows anyone to access it via GET method. The shadow_rules are not used and you can ignored them safely.

    {
     "name": "envoy.filters.http.rbac",
     "config": {
      "rules": {
       "policies": {
        "productpage-viewer": {
         "permissions": [
          {
           "and_rules": {
            "rules": [
             {
              "or_rules": {
               "rules": [
                {
                 "header": {
                  "exact_match": "GET",
                  "name": ":method"
                 }
                }
               ]
              }
             }
            ]
           }
          }
         ],
         "principals": [
          {
           "and_ids": {
            "ids": [
             {
              "any": true
             }
            ]
           }
          }
         ]
        }
       }
      },
      "shadow_rules": {
       "policies": {}
      }
     }
    },

Ensure Proxies Enforce Policies Correctly

Proxies eventually enforce the authorization policies. The following steps help you ensure the proxy is working as expected:

Note: The command used in this section assumes you have deployed Bookinfo application. otherwise you should replace "-l app=productpage" with your actual pod.

  1. Turn on the authorization debug logging in proxy with the following command:

    $ kubectl exec  $(kubectl get pods -l app=productpage -o jsonpath='{.items[0].metadata.name}') -c istio-proxy -- curl localhost:15000/logging?rbac=debug -s
  2. Verify you see the following output:

    active loggers:
      ... ...
      rbac: debug
      ... ...
  3. Visit the productpage in your browser to generate some logs.

  4. Print the proxy logs with the following command:

    $ kubectl logs $(kubectl get pods -l app=productpage -o jsonpath='{.items[0].metadata.name}') -c istio-proxy
  5. Check the output and verify:

    • The output log shows either enforced allowed or enforced denied depending on whether the request was allowed or denied respectively.

    • Your authorization policy expects the data extracted from the request.

  6. The following output means there is a GET request at path /productpage and the policy allows the request. The shadow denied has no effect and you can ignore it safely.

    ...
    [2018-07-26 20:39:18.060][152][debug][rbac] external/envoy/source/extensions/filters/http/rbac/rbac_filter.cc:79] checking request: remoteAddress: 10.60.0.139:51158, localAddress: 10.60.0.93:9080, ssl: uriSanPeerCertificate: spiffe://cluster.local/ns/istio-system/sa/istio-ingressgateway-service-account, subjectPeerCertificate: O=, headers: ':authority', '35.238.0.62'
    ':path', '/productpage'
    ':method', 'GET'
    'upgrade-insecure-requests', '1'
    'user-agent', 'Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/67.0.3396.99 Safari/537.36'
    'dnt', '1'
    'accept', 'text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,image/webp,image/apng,*/*;q=0.8'
    'accept-encoding', 'gzip, deflate'
    'accept-language', 'en-US,en;q=0.9,zh-CN;q=0.8,zh;q=0.7'
    'x-forwarded-for', '10.60.0.1'
    'x-forwarded-proto', 'http'
    'x-request-id', 'e23ea62d-b25d-91be-857c-80a058d746d4'
    'x-b3-traceid', '5983108bf6d05603'
    'x-b3-spanid', '5983108bf6d05603'
    'x-b3-sampled', '1'
    'x-istio-attributes', 'CikKGGRlc3RpbmF0aW9uLnNlcnZpY2UubmFtZRINEgtwcm9kdWN0cGFnZQoqCh1kZXN0aW5hdGlvbi5zZXJ2aWNlLm5hbWVzcGFjZRIJEgdkZWZhdWx0Ck8KCnNvdXJjZS51aWQSQRI/a3ViZXJuZXRlczovL2lzdGlvLWluZ3Jlc3NnYXRld2F5LTc2NjY0Y2NmY2Ytd3hjcjQuaXN0aW8tc3lzdGVtCj4KE2Rlc3RpbmF0aW9uLnNlcnZpY2USJxIlcHJvZHVjdHBhZ2UuZGVmYXVsdC5zdmMuY2x1c3Rlci5sb2NhbApDChhkZXN0aW5hdGlvbi5zZXJ2aWNlLmhvc3QSJxIlcHJvZHVjdHBhZ2UuZGVmYXVsdC5zdmMuY2x1c3Rlci5sb2NhbApBChdkZXN0aW5hdGlvbi5zZXJ2aWNlLnVpZBImEiRpc3RpbzovL2RlZmF1bHQvc2VydmljZXMvcHJvZHVjdHBhZ2U='
    'content-length', '0'
    'x-envoy-internal', 'true'
    'sec-istio-authn-payload', 'CkVjbHVzdGVyLmxvY2FsL25zL2lzdGlvLXN5c3RlbS9zYS9pc3Rpby1pbmdyZXNzZ2F0ZXdheS1zZXJ2aWNlLWFjY291bnQSRWNsdXN0ZXIubG9jYWwvbnMvaXN0aW8tc3lzdGVtL3NhL2lzdGlvLWluZ3Jlc3NnYXRld2F5LXNlcnZpY2UtYWNjb3VudA=='
    , dynamicMetadata: filter_metadata {
      key: "istio_authn"
      value {
        fields {
          key: "request.auth.principal"
          value {
            string_value: "cluster.local/ns/istio-system/sa/istio-ingressgateway-service-account"
          }
        }
        fields {
          key: "source.principal"
          value {
            string_value: "cluster.local/ns/istio-system/sa/istio-ingressgateway-service-account"
          }
        }
      }
    }
    
    [2018-07-26 20:39:18.060][152][debug][rbac] external/envoy/source/extensions/filters/http/rbac/rbac_filter.cc:88] shadow denied
    [2018-07-26 20:39:18.060][152][debug][rbac] external/envoy/source/extensions/filters/http/rbac/rbac_filter.cc:98] enforced allowed
    ...

See also

Describe Istio's authorization feature and how to use it in various use cases.

Describes Istio's authorization and authentication functionality.

Shows how to set up role-based access control for services in the mesh.

Demonstrates how to debug Pilot and Envoy.

Shows you how to verify and test Istio's automatic mutual TLS authentication.

Shows how to enable Citadel health checking with Kubernetes.