staying-safe-when-pulling-from-maven-central-and-other-repos

 

CodeNotary & Maven Integration Graphic

 

Maven works well, especially if you don’t want to rewrite a program from scratch every time you start up a project. It manages builds and versions and is a central repository for dependencies that works much better than Ant. It also makes pulling in new features pretty easy. But what if you need to add a dependency to your system and you’re not pulling from Maven Central? What if you are but you still don’t know the code source? What if you’re working with a CI server? How do you know the code you pull is not malicious? You can use CodeNotary’s JVCN plugin to enforce Maven dependencies and immutably assure their safety.

 

CodeNotary is the only decentralized, secure and blockchain based solution out there for enforcing and securing your Maven dependencies. See how it works below:

 

Trusting Maven Dependencies

CodeNotary makes sure all your project dependencies, whether from Maven Central or other repos or servers, are trusted.

 

Getting a closer look under the hood into the pom.xml, you can see CodeNotary has a couple of things going on to help you get security for your builds:

 

  1. The jvcn-maven plugin is hooked into the maven build process to automatically verify dependencies at build time.
  2. The JVCN plugin is set-up to verify all dependencies against a signer with the public-key 0xC498EEEbDcBd4047b7393573dB21099cE42638be
  3. The plugin is also configured to stop the build if it encounters a single non-trusted dependency.

 

And now, we can go continuous without breaking a sweat over whether or not our latest build is safe to use. Just to illustrate, let’s run an example of CodeNotary’s dependency enforcement at work.

 

Dependency Check Example

In this setup, for simplicity, we just have a single dependency:

 

us.vchain:jvcn:0.0.1.

 

Since, this dependency is signed with the blockchain stored, authentic hash, (below):

 

0xC498EEEbDcBd4047b7393573dB21099cE42638be

 

…the build passes.

 

Build Enforcement Test

By adding a new, unknown dependency to the project, you will be able to see the build enforcement in action.

 

We start our test by adding the following snippet to our dependencies list in pom.xml:

 

<dependency>

<groupId>org.postgresql</groupId>

<artifactId>postgresql</artifactId>

<version>42.2.5</version>

</dependency>

 

Because the postgresql dependency was not signed with the same trusted hash we used previously (above):

 

0xC498EEEbDcBd4047b7393573dB21099cE42638be.

 

…the dependency is prevented from being used and the build fails. Clearly, if the key isn’t there, the lock won’t open and you remain protected.

 

Stay security thirsty my friends.

 

If you liked this blog, check out more cool CodeNotary integrations here.

 

 

Yes! Show Me More Integrations

 

 

References

https://github.com/vchain-us/jvcn-maven-plugin/tree/master/examples/dependency-enforcement

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNGQ9JBQWhQ

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/31740785/why-order-of-maven-dependencies-matter

https://www.tutorialspoint.com/maven/maven_external_dependencies.htm

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Use Case - Tamper-resistant Clinical Trials

Goal:

Blockchain PoCs were unsuccessful due to complexity and lack of developers.

Still the goal of data immutability as well as client verification is a crucial. Furthermore, the system needs to be easy to use and operate (allowing backup, maintenance windows aso.).

Implementation:

immudb is running in different datacenters across the globe. All clinical trial information is stored in immudb either as transactions or the pdf documents as a whole.

Having that single source of truth with versioned, timestamped, and cryptographically verifiable records, enables a whole new way of transparency and trust.

Use Case - Finance

Goal:

Store the source data, the decision and the rule base for financial support from governments timestamped, verifiable.

A very important functionality is the ability to compare the historic decision (based on the past rulebase) with the rulebase at a different date. Fully cryptographic verifiable Time Travel queries are required to be able to achieve that comparison.

Implementation:

While the source data, rulebase and the documented decision are stored in verifiable Blobs in immudb, the transaction is stored using the relational layer of immudb.

That allows the use of immudb’s time travel capabilities to retrieve verified historic data and recalculate with the most recent rulebase.

Use Case - eCommerce and NFT marketplace

Goal:

No matter if it’s an eCommerce platform or NFT marketplace, the goals are similar:

  • High amount of transactions (potentially millions a second)
  • Ability to read and write multiple records within one transaction
  • prevent overwrite or updates on transactions
  • comply with regulations (PCI, GDPR, …)


Implementation:

immudb is typically scaled out using Hyperscaler (i. e. AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure) distributed across the Globe. Auditors are also distributed to track the verification proof over time. Additionally, the shop or marketplace applications store immudb cryptographic state information. That high level of integrity and tamper-evidence while maintaining a very high transaction speed is key for companies to chose immudb.

Use Case - IoT Sensor Data

Goal:

IoT sensor data received by devices collecting environment data needs to be stored locally in a cryptographically verifiable manner until the data is transferred to a central datacenter. The data integrity needs to be verifiable at any given point in time and while in transit.

Implementation:

immudb runs embedded on the IoT device itself and is consistently audited by external probes. The data transfer to audit is minimal and works even with minimum bandwidth and unreliable connections.

Whenever the IoT devices are connected to a high bandwidth, the data transfer happens to a data center (large immudb deployment) and the source and destination date integrity is fully verified.

Use Case - DevOps Evidence

Goal:

CI/CD and application build logs need to be stored auditable and tamper-evident.
A very high Performance is required as the system should not slow down any build process.
Scalability is key as billions of artifacts are expected within the next years.
Next to a possibility of integrity validation, data needs to be retrievable by pipeline job id or digital asset checksum.

Implementation:

As part of the CI/CD audit functionality, data is stored within immudb using the Key/Value functionality. Key is either the CI/CD job id (i. e. Jenkins or GitLab) or the checksum of the resulting build or container image.

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