chronicle

by paragonie

paragonie / chronicle

Public append-only ledger microservice built with Slim Framework

428 Stars 20 Forks Last release: about 1 year ago (v1.2.0) 234 Commits 18 Releases

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Chronicle

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Chronicle is a self-hostable microservice, built with Slim Framework, which enables authorized users to commit arbitrary data to an immutable, append-only public ledger.

Chronicle is superior to "blockchain" solutions for most real-world technical problems that don't involve proofs-of-work or Byzantine fault tolerance.

More precisely, Chronicle is a self-hostable microservice exposing an append-only, cryptographically-secure hash chain data structure that accepts arbitrary data from authorized clients through an HTTP API, secured by Sapient, that can be used as a building block for building a cryptographic audit trail similar to Certificate Transparency.

Chronicle will make you question the need for blockchain technology.

Chronicle was developed by Paragon Initiative Enterprises as part of our continued efforts to make the Internet more secure.

Getting Started with Chronicle (Documentation)

Client-Side Software that Interacts with Chronicle

PHP

What does Chronicle do?

Chronicle allows trusted clients to send data to be included in an immutable, auditable, cryptographic permanent record.

Furthermore, Chronicle has cross-signing and many-to-one replication built-in, which, when used, greatly enhances the auditability and availability of the data written to your local Chronicle instance.

What problems do Chronicle solve?

Chain of Custody

If you have sensitive information, you can write metadata about client access times to a private Chronicle in order to have verifiable, tamper-resistant proof that specific records were accessed by specific user accounts at a specific time.

Proof of Knowledge

By inserting an encrypted message and then revealing the key at a later date, you can provide strong evidence of prior knowledge.

Userbase Consistency Verification

For building a secure code delivery system, committing some metadata and a SHA256 or BLAKE2 hash of each update file to a publicly verifiable Chronicle allows users to compile a whitelist of known update files to help block trojan horse malware (in the event of a compromised update server).

For best results, combine with cryptographic signatures (which may also be registered in the Chronicle) and reproducible builds.

Auditable Security Event Logging

Because of Chronicle's cryptographically assured append-only properties, and its use of modern elliptic curve digital signatures, Chronicle is a good fit for integrating with SIEM solutions and internal SOCs.

How does it work?

All communications are secured with Sapient. Sapient ensures that all published messages are signed with Ed25519. All messages are committed to a hash chain data structure backed by BLAKE2b, which we call Blakechain for short.

There are two hashes for each message:

  1. The hash of the current message, whose BLAKE2b key is the previous message's block. This is just called
    currhash
    internally.
  2. The summary hash, which is a BLAKE2b hash of all message hashes to date, concatenated together in order. This is called
    summaryhash
    internally.

The rationale for using the previous message's hash was to add a degree of domain separation in the event that a BLAKE2b collision attack is ever discovered. The keying should reduce the likelihood of any practical attacks, especially if the chain is updated rapidly.

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