A Tezos Remote Signer
WARNING: This project is in active development. While we welcome users and feedback, please be warned that this project is a work in progress and users should proceed with caution.
What is Signatory?
Signatory is a remote signing daemon that allows people running Tezos bakers to securely sign endorsement and baking operations with a variety of different key management systems.
The goal of the Signatory service is to make key management as secure as possible in a Cloud and on-premise HSM context.
Why Use Signatory?
Security and convenience are typically at odds with each other. Signatory makes it easier for Tezos node operators to manage their keys securely by offering several well-tested & supported signing options for cloud-based or hardware-based HSMs.
Signatory receives signing requests from either a baker or an endorser, signs the data using one of its backends, and returns a signature.
Signatory is also focused on observability, meaning that it exposes metrics about its operations. Metrics allows operators to see historical trends, signing volumes, errors and latencies, enabling rich reporting and alerting capabilities.
Private-key import is an important security consideration when choosing a Cloud HSM offering. Some HSM's allow you to generate the secret key internally so that no one can extract the private key from the HSM. Others allow for private-key import with different levels of security. The trade-offs in this context are essential to understand.
How it Works
- Tezos sends a signing request to Signatory
- Signatory checks that the operation is either
- Signatory sends the operation to the configured backend for singing
- Upon receiving the signing operation from the backend, Signatory validates the signature with a Tezos node (optional)
- Signatory returns the operation signature to the Tezos node
Supported Signing Backends
Signatory currently supports Azure Key Vault. Other backend signing services are either in the planning phase or are currently in development.
We are adding support for additional backend Key Management Systems (KMS) for the secure handling of private keys. Most cloud-based KMS systems offer an HSM backed mode, which we strongly recommended.
Our goal in supporting multiple Cloud KMS/HSM services is to help in preventing centralization on the network or infrastructure level. It is not optimal for Tezos to have the most decentralized network in terms of bakers, and of those bakers, a large majority operate on single infrastructure provider.
In the first year of the Tezos network operation, there was anecdotal evidence that a lot of bakers run on AWS. AWS is a superb provider, but having a concentration of nodes on one cloud vendor centralizes the underlying infrastructure of the network, which is not desirable.
By supporting multiple Cloud KMS/HSM systems, we hope to help the network from centralization on a particular Cloud offering. In the first year of the Tezos network operation, there was anecdotal evidence that many bakers run on AWS. AWS is a superb provider, but having a concentration of nodes on one cloud vendor centralizes the underlying infrastructure of the network, which is not desirable.
Backend KMS/HSM Support Status
|Azure KMS||In Testing|
|Google Cloud KMS||In Testing|
Tezos Address Types
In Tezos, the signing algorithm you can infer from the first three characters of an address. For example, an address beginning with
tz3 uses the P-256 algorithm. HSM's and Cloud-based HSM's have support for a subset of the three algorithms supported by Tezos.
Signing Algorithm Support From Various Backends
|Google Cloud KMS|
Reports may be encrypted using keys published on keybase.io using keybase/jevonearth.
Other Issues & Feature Requests
Please use the GitHub issue tracker to report bugs or request features.
To contribute, please check the issue tracker to see if an issue exists for your planned contribution. If there's no issue, please create one first, and then submit a pull request with your contribution.
For a contribution to be merged, it is required to have complete documentation, come with unit tests, and integration tests where appropriate. Submitting a "work in progress" pull request is welcome!
Alternative Remote Signers
At least three other remote signers are available to use with Tezos. Tezos also provides native support for baking with a Ledger Nano. We encourage bakers too, at a minimum, review these projects. We are eager to collaborate and be peers with these great projects.
THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS" AND ANY EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE REGENTS OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.