Sigstore protects Apt archives: apt-verify & apt-sigstore

Do you want your apt-get update to only ever use files whose hash checksum have been recorded in the globally immutable tamper-resistance ledger rekor provided by the Sigstore project? Well I thought you’d never ask, but now you can, thanks to my new projects apt-verify and apt-sigstore. I have not done proper stable releases yet, so this is work in progress. To try it out, adapt to the modern era of running random stuff from the Internet as root, and run the following commands. Use a container or virtual machine if you have trust issues.

apt-get install -y apt gpg bsdutils wget
wget -nv -O/usr/local/bin/rekor-cli ''
echo afde22f01d9b6f091a7829a6f5d759d185dc0a8f3fd21de22c6ae9463352cf7d  /usr/local/bin/rekor-cli | sha256sum -c
chmod +x /usr/local/bin/rekor-cli
wget -nv -O/usr/local/bin/apt-verify-gpgv
chmod +x /usr/local/bin/apt-verify-gpgv
mkdir -p /etc/apt/verify.d
ln -s /usr/bin/gpgv /etc/apt/verify.d
echo 'APT::Key::gpgvcommand "apt-verify-gpgv";' > /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/75verify
wget -nv -O/etc/apt/verify.d/apt-rekor
chmod +x /etc/apt/verify.d/apt-rekor
apt-get update
less /var/log/syslog

If the stars are aligned (and the puppet projects’ of debdistget and debdistcanary have ran their GitLab CI/CD pipeline recently enough) you will see a successful output from apt-get update and your syslog will contain debug logs showing the entries from the rekor log for the release index files that you downloaded. See sample outputs in the README.

If you get tired of it, disabling is easy:

chmod -x /etc/apt/verify.d/apt-rekor

Our project currently supports Trisquel GNU/Linux 10 (nabia) & 11 (aramo), PureOS 10 (byzantium), Gnuinos chimaera, Ubuntu 20.04 (focal) & 22.04 (jammy), Debian 10 (buster) & 11 (bullseye), and Devuan GNU+Linux 4.0 (chimaera). Others can be supported to, please open an issue about it, although my focus is on FSDG-compliant distributions and their upstreams.

This is a continuation of my previous work on apt-canary. I have realized that it was better to separate out the generic part of apt-canary into my new project apt-verify that offers a plugin-based method, and then rewrote apt-canary to be one such plugin. Then apt-sigstore‘s apt-rekor was my second plugin for apt-verify.

Due to the design of things, and some current limitations, Ubuntu is the least stable since they push out new signed InRelease files frequently (mostly due to their use of Phased-Update-Percentage) and debdistget and debdistcanary CI/CD runs have a hard time keeping up. If you have insight on how to improve this, please comment me in the issue tracking the race condition.

There are limitations of what additional safety a rekor-based solution actually provides, but I expect that to improve as I get a cosign-based approach up and running. Currently apt-rekor mostly make targeted attacks less deniable. With a cosign-based approach, we could design things such that your machine only downloads updates when they have been publicly archived in an immutable fashion, or submitted for validation by a third-party such as my reproducible build setup for Trisquel GNU/Linux aramo.

What do you think? Happy Hacking!