verify-digital-asset-integrity-against-the-blockchain-for-free-using-golang

 

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CodeNotary’s vcn CLI tool with its immutable verification of any digital asset is a strong addition to any good developer’s DevOps toolkit. But did you know vcn can actually be utilized in a more customized way? It has been designed to allow a developer to import the vcn Golang code within his/her own project in order to directly verify digital asset integrity against the immutability of the blockchain.

 

For more information on how to sign digital assets, check out our help guide here or our onboarding video here (it starts at the signing process). And for more on signing with Golang, see our blog here.

Asset Verification

Verifying the assets that your application draws on is in line with the DevSecOps best practice of Zero Trust. When running applications, it’s critical to know if an asset (code, image, container, file, application, etc.) has been modified and is truly safe to run in your environment. Knowing the digital asset integrity will help alert you to any potential runtime errors caused by unknown updates as well as any malicious tampering.

 

Using Verification in Your Go Code

We created vcn so it can be utilized directly from within an individual application’s code structure. Extracting and placing a global verification checker like vcn directly into your project gives you the ability to configure it to run whenever you need or want it to do so.

 

Here’s a very basic example for including asset verification in your code:

 

package main
 
import (

   “fmt”

  “github.com/vchain-us/vcn/pkg/api”
  “github.com/vchain-us/vcn/pkg/meta”
)

func main()  {
      verification, err := api.BlockChainVerify(“<asset hash here>”)
      if err != nil {
            panic(err)
      {
      fmt.Println(“Asset status: “ + meta.StatusName(verification.Status))
}  

 

How It Works

The github.com/vchain-us/vcn/pkg/api package pulls in the vcn API and makes it able to read directly from the blockchain. The api.BlockChainVerify function then calls the blockchain to see if it recognizes a hash of a specific asset, which is the input. Assuming it does, the function then prints the verification status i.e. TRUSTED, UNTRUSTED, UNSUPPORTED, UNKNOWN. If any error occurred (e.g. a connection error), the program will panic.

 

Once you have a printed verification status confirmed by the blockchain, the application possibilities begin to unfold.

 

We also provided another function, BlockChainVerifyMatchingPublicKeys, you can use if you have an asset you want to trust that needs to be verified against a list of signers. It behaves the same as BlockChainVerify with the difference being it checks against a list of signers instead of hashes. The function is a bit more behind the scenes and lower level but it is there so you can use it if you have a use case that requires it. You can read more about it on our GitHub page: https://github.com/vchain-us/vcn#verify-by-a-list-of-signers

 

For more information on BlockChainVerify, check out:

 

Testing

We have built in a make test command in vcn so you can set up and run your own test prior to pushing any code live. You can find more documentation at https://github.com/vchain-us/vcn#testing

 

In addition, we are constantly testing and maintaining the blockchain as a member and steward of its community.

 

Now, let’s look at some use cases and a current example of the vcn API being used today.

Use Case Examples

For example, say your project relies on spinning up a container every time before it can perform its goal functionality. You can set vcn to run a verification check just prior to the container running to make sure it is the container you expect it to be and that it has not been tampered with.

 

Another example involves checking dependencies. Say you have dependencies that you have used before but need to make sure they are still legit and untampered before you connect to them again. You can use vcn in your project code to verify that the dependencies are 100% as intended.

 

For an example currently in use, check out how we used the API internally to implement the vcn verify command:

https://github.com/vchain-us/vcn/blob/master/pkg/cmd/verify/verify.go#L99

 

Conclusion

Including a global verification check inside your code is a great way to add value to the users of your project. Applications that confirm digital asset integrity and all its various components and dependencies give users increased reliability, security, and peace of mind.

 

You can find the entire vcn project on our GitHub repository.

 

 

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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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