Each controller should use individual service account credentials








Set up the kubernetes integration.


Use individual service account credentials for each controller.


The controller manager creates a service account per controller in the kube-system namespace, generates a credential for it, and builds a dedicated API client with that service account credential for each controller loop to use. Setting the --use-service-account-credentials to true runs each control loop within the controller manager using a separate service account credential. When used in combination with RBAC, this ensures that the control loops run with the minimum permissions required to perform their intended tasks.


Run the following command on the master node:

ps -ef | grep kube-controller-manager

Verify that the --use-service-account-credentials argument is set to true.


Edit the Controller Manager pod specification file /etc/kubernetes/manifests/kube-controller-manager.yaml on the master node to set the below parameter:



Whatever authorizer is configured for the cluster, it must grant sufficient permissions to the service accounts to perform their intended tasks. When using the RBAC authorizer, those roles are created and bound to the appropriate service accounts in the kube-system namespace automatically with default roles and rolebindings that are auto-reconciled on startup. If using other authorization methods (ABAC, Webhook, etc.), the cluster deployer is responsible for granting appropriate permissions to the service accounts (the required permissions can be seen by inspecting the controller-roles.yaml and controller-role-bindings.yaml files for the RBAC roles.

Default value

By default, --use-service-account-credentials is set to false.


  1. https://kubernetes.io/docs/admin/kube-controller-manager/
  2. https://kubernetes.io/docs/admin/service-accounts-admin/
  3. https://github.com/kubernetes/kubernetes/blob/release-1.6/plugin/pkg/auth/authorizer/rbac/bootstrappolicy/testdata/controller-roles.yaml
  4. https://github.com/kubernetes/kubernetes/blob/release-1.6/plugin/pkg/auth/authorizer/rbac/bootstrappolicy/testdata/controller-role-bindings.yaml
  5. https://kubernetes.io/docs/admin/authorization/rbac/#controller-roles

CIS controls

Version 6.14 Controlled Access Based on the Need to Know

Version 7.4 Controlled Use of Administrative Privileges