Access Control for Binary Integrity Protection using Ethereum
The integrity of executable binaries is essential to the security of any device that runs them. At best, a manipulated binary can leave the system in question open to attack, and at worst, it can compromise the entire system by itself. In recent years, supply-chain attacks have demonstrated that binaries can even be compromised unbeknownst to their creators. This, in turn, leads to the dissemination of supposedly valid binaries that need to be revoked later. In this paper, we present and evaluate a concept for publishing and revoking integrity protecting information for binaries, based on the Ethereum Blockchain and its underlying peer-to-peer network. Smart Contracts are used to enforce access control over the publication and revocation of integrity preserving information, whereas the peer-to-peer network serves as a fast, global communication service to keep user clients informed. The Ethereum Blockchain serves as a tamper-evident, publicly-verifiable log of published and revoked binaries. Our implementation incurs costs comparable to registration fees for centralised software distribution platforms but allows publication and revocation of individual binaries within minutes. The proposed concept can be integrated incrementally into existing software distribution platforms, such as package repositories or various app stores.