Secure Software Development Framework (SSDF) at Adoptium

Introduction to the framework

The Secure Software Development Framework (SSDF) is special publication 800-218 from the National Institute of Standards and Technology agency of the US Department of Commerce’s Computer Security Resource Center division. It is a set of development practices which can be used to establish secure development processes for your software and was based on development practices from multiple other organisations. Its goal is to reduce vulnerabilities in the software that organisations ship. With President Biden’s executive order 14028 from 17th May 2021 being signed in an attempt to improve cybersecurity, the SSDF document also includes mappings to the executive order’s bullet points.

Why SSDF and not [insert other framework here]?

There are other models available and if there are others that might have relevant things not covered by SSDF then please let us know so we can evaluate whether it’s worth including extra things from them. We found that of the alternative models available such as BSA (which maps to SSDF) and SLSA we found the SSDF publication to be suitably thorough and in many cases is more detailed than the alternatives we had looked at. While we continue this work we are, along with other Eclipse Foundation projects, aiming to comply with the SLSA levels too as we perform this work, and with SSDF and SLSA we have complementary frameworks with both helping to enhance the software development lifecycle security and SLSA specifically allowing us to demonstrate iterative progress via the levels it has. Our recent blog post announcing SLSA level 2 compliance is an example of this.

What are we doing?

As a starting point we have been performing analysis to determine where the Adoptium project, and Eclipse Temurin specifically to start with, is in terms of the points in the specifications. Our process will be:

  1. Determine which items in the specification we believe we already adhere to
  2. Collate the information on each of the SSDF points to clarify where we currently stand relative to what is needed
  3. Determine next steps in order to help us achieve increased compliance with the items we deem most important
  4. Implement actions to get to the best security for the product that we can and increase trust in our deliverables

What have you done so far?

One of the important things in the secure software specification relate to Software Bill Of Materials (SBOMs) and we have started producing SBOMs along with the Temurin builds using CycloneDX as part of our regular build process. While the full content of it is still a work in progress and will be enhanced over time - and you can have your say in this issue - we have a good baseline of data about what has been used to produce each of our builds across all of our platforms. The JSON-formatted SBOMs can be obtained along with the Eclipse Temurin builds.

Additionally, we have been working towards having fully reproducible builds which are binary identical and can be rebuilt by others if desired in order to prove that we have built what we say we have, in the way we said we did. That way, a cautious user could rebuild what we have to verify that it is correct and has not been compromised during the build and distribution process, but take advantage of all of our extensive testing and distribution without having to do that themselves. This video shows how far we have come to enable binary identical builds on Linux, but we have also done similar activities on macOS and Windows platforms too and our JDK19 deliverables at the time of writing are almost completely reproducible when built-in an equivalent environment - the class data sharing archives in lib/server/*.cds are the only files that are not always reproducible. You can read some details of this in our reproducible build blog.

Also, in addition to the SHA checksums which we have been providing for a long time now, we have also recently (July 2022) started adding GPG signatures for our downloads, which can be used to verify that the downloads have not been tampered with since they were produced by our Jenkins pipelines.

In terms of GitHub security we have also recently activated two person reviews on all the critical repositories that are required for the build and release pipelines as well as enforcing 2FA for all committers on the project.

How can I see how things are progressing?

The top level issue that we are using to track the work is and we have lots of sub-tasks for the different sections of the SSDF document.

The major sections of the SSDF document are as follows and we have individual issues covering each of them

What are your next steps?

While the exact steps are always going to be somewhat fluid, these are some of the current planned next steps for the short term:

  • Continue to improve the SBOM detail (build#3013)
  • Improve our security of our code repositories including increasing mandatory reviewers for PRs
  • Improve isolation of build machines from the rest of the Jenkins infrastructure
  • Evaluating the feasibility of building in docker images across remaining Linux platforms (ppc64le and s390x)
  • Various other administrative security controls and logging on our infrastructure.

Do you have questions or want to discuss this post? Hit us up on the Adoptium Slack workspace!

Stewart X Addison

Posted by Stewart X AddisonAdoptium PMC and steering WG member working for Red Hat