The rise of supply chain attacks

Supply chain attacks are on the rise. Why are they so attractive to cybercriminals? The reason is simple. Most of the industry is not yet ready to efficiently defend against them and once successfully deployed the chances of having a big impact are high. Tampering with the software supply chain of SolarWinds affected 18,000 customers. Even more widespread was the log4j exploit with a huge number of servers affected and a targeting rate of 50%. Political activism also discovered the huge impact of supply chain attacks as seen in a famous npm package that was modified by its own developers to spread their message and delete files. The biggest challenges of securing the software supply chain come from:

  1. Open-Source Software
  2. Vendor supplied Software
  3. Insider Threats

For open-source software, it’s become really clear that we have to know what’s inside. Therefore the concept of SBOMs (Software Bill of Materials) will be mandatory in the near future. Operations of every IT company have to be enabled to quickly answer the following questions: what is running on my systems and where does it come from? Those question don’t sound very complicated but in reality, it is a nightmare to identify software in a complex environment and trace it. Code signing is an important concept to simplify that process. The idea is to sign every software artifact that comes from you therefore making it possible to instantly identify what is yours and what isn’t (also known as provenance checks). Codenotary offers code signing using a zero-trust architecture. It can also create SBOMs in any language and container.

Vendor supplied software remains difficult to handle. Vendors should supply SBOMs in the future to comply with the cybersecurity act of president Biden. Vendors will also benefit from that, given they don’t have to worry about panicked customers asking them if they are affected by a vulnerability. With Codenotary it is possible to attach the SBOMs to the signed software without having to worry about the SBOMs being lost or tampered.

One mostly overlooked threat is the insider attack. Large IT organizations have thousands of contractors and employees who represent a cross-section of society. They can make mistakes or even act outright maliciously. The example of the node developer from above who changed his code to spread a political message is just one possible scenario. Codenotary is built on a zero-trust architecture. It uses immudb, an open source tamper-evident database. Attackers are not able to cover up their tracks.

Conclusion

Supply chain attacks and vulnerabilities are already there. Most of the businesses in the industry have been already affected. Exploits like log4j will pop up again and again. Therefore it is important to quickly identify and remove unwanted software to not get targeted by cyber attacks. Codenotary Cloud is offers an all-in-one solution for a secure software supply chain. It complies with the cyber security executive order and feature a zero-trust model by the use of Codenotary’s immudb. Codenotary Cloud can be integrated easily not only in Cloud environments but also in legacy platforms.

CNIL Metrics & Logs

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immudb

Built on the fastest immutable ledger technology. Open Source and easy to use and integrate into existing application.

Codenotary Cloud

Trusted CI/CD, SBOM and artifact
protection with cryptographic proof.
One CLI to manage all.

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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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