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Compare the signatures uploaded to registry and transparency log

As we discussed in keyless signing, the signature is uploaded to the transparency log before pushing to the registry.

To keep this simple, let's save the signature of an artifact (docker image in this case) before uploading it to the registry. We can use the --output-signature flag to perform this action.

Get the tlog entry and signature during the keyless signing

If the image is already signed, we can follow the download artifact guide to get the signature. Alternatively, we can save the signature to a file before uploading.

COSIGN_EXPERIMENTAL=1 cosign sign $IMAGE --output-signature image.sig
tlog entry created with index: 7409998

The signature is uploaded to the registry & it's stored in image.sig on the local filesystem.

cat image.sig


Get the signature from the transparency log rekor

Visit query transparency log section to read more on query rekor.

To validate if the signature is being uploaded to the transparency log during the keyless signing, extract the tlog index from the above step. We can use that index to query the public/private rekor instances.

export tlogindex=7409998
rekor-cli get --log-index $tlogindex


We can parse the above output quickly to extract the signature field.

rekor-cli get --log-index $tlogindex --format json | jq -r '.Body.HashedRekordObj.signature.content'

As we can see above, the values extracted from the transparency log with rekor-cli & the signature from the registry are the same. An exact character comparison can be performed, if required, with the below command

diff <( printf '%s\n' "$(cat image.sig)") <( printf '%s\n' "$(rekor-cli get --log-index $tlogindex --format json | jq -r '.Body.HashedRekordObj.signature.content')")

In this way, if required, we can verify the signatures & integrity of the artifacts in both registry & transparency log. To makes things easier, cosign validates it when we run cosign verify command.

Last update: 2022-11-19 14:24:26
Created: 2022-11-19 06:59:59