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Application Lifecycle Threats

Application development environment security is critical for every project, as all fancy and advanced runtime or compliation based security measures can be potentially rendered useless, once a development system is compromised.

Therefore we analysed several threats you should be aware when developing a Tauri application.

Tauri applications are composed of many pieces at different points of the lifecycle. Here we describe classical threats and what you SHOULD do about them.

All of these distinct steps are described in the following sections.

Threat Stages During Development

Upstream Threats

Tauri is a direct dependency on your project, and we maintain strict authorial control of commits, reviews, pull requests, and releases. We do our best to maintain up-to-date dependencies and take action to either update or fork and fix. Other projects may not be so well maintained, and may not even have ever been audited.

Please consider their health when integrating them, otherwise, you may have adopted architectural debt without even knowing it.

Development Threats

We assume that you, the developer, care for your development environment. It is on you to make sure that your operating system, build toolchains, and associated dependencies are kept up to date and reasonable secured.

A genuine risk all of us face is what is known as “supply-chain attacks”, which are usually considered to be attacks on direct dependencies of your project. However, a growing class of attacks in the wild directly target development machines, and you would be well off to address this head-on.

One practice that we highly recommend, is to only ever consume critical dependencies from git using hash revisions at best or named tags as second best. This holds for Rust as well as the Node ecosystem. Also, consider requiring all contributors to sign their commits and protect Git branches and pipelines.

Buildtime Threats

Modern organizations use CI/CD to manufacture binary artifacts. At Tauri, we even provide a GitHub Workflow for building on multiple platforms. If you create your own CI/CD and depend on third-party tooling, be wary of actions whose versions you have not explicitly pinned.

You should sign your binaries for the platform you are shipping to. While this can be complicated and somewhat costly to set up, end users expect that your app is verifiably from you.

Distribution Threats

We have done our best to make shipping hot updates to the app as straightforward and secure as possible. However, all bets are off if you lose control of the manifest server, the build server, or the binary hosting service. If you build your own system, consult a professional OPS architect and build it properly.

Runtime Threats

We assume the webview is insecure, which has led Tauri to implement several protections regarding webview access to system APIs in the context of loading untrusted userland content.

Using the Content Security Policy will lockdown types of communication that the Webview can undertake. Furthermore, Capabilities can prevent untrusted content or scripts from accessing the API within the Webview.

© 2024 Tauri Contributors. CC-BY / MIT